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The Device: 1938

The Device: 1938

Washington, D.C., 1938. "Marie Passapae, C. Coy Honsaker" is all it says here. Are there enough clues to tell us what's going on? 4x5 glass negative. View full size.


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Hot Flash

Raising body temperature was an accepted treatment for syphilis before the discovery of penicillin. Typical article from the Western Journal of Medicine, March 1934:


Pretty nifty, sleek design, and notice the pinstriping too! Someone took pride in their work!

Hot Fog Box

That's what the inventor, Mr. Honsaker, called it when he exhibited it at a conference on "fever therapy" in New York in 1937. Water at 130 degrees is sprayed on the patient in such fine droplets "that it feels like the sensation of drifting fog," claimed Mr. Honsaker.

Apparatus for and method of inducing pyrexia

Looks like it was patented by Charles C. Honsaker:

"This invention relates generally to the art of "hydrotherapeutics and more particularly to an apparatus for and method of inducing pyrexia in the treatment of various diseases and disorders of the body."

Spa Treatment

She's lying on a towel from the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC.

The towel and fan and neck seal suggest some spa treatment.

Iron Lung

Early prototype.

[At first glance. But iron lungs aren't top-loading. - Dave]

Honsaker Sauna Cabin

Or cabinet.


The nameplate.

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