Monday, July 14, 2008

Positively electric: New Dowana

On Friday, I picked up from the West Campus an apparatus that "just appeared" in the recently vacated Neurological Sciences Institute library space. Luckily for us, alert staffers sequestered the item in a locked area and called us.

The item was rumored to be "the original EEG machine" of Dr. Robert S. Dow, founder of the Dow Neurological Sciences Institute. What it actually is, I'm not yet entirely sure.

The large, heavy suitcase opens to reveal an instrument panel, with red and green leads and two padded paddles. The manufacturer's plate reads "Frank S. Betz Co., Hammond, Ind., model [blank], v. 115, cy. 60, no. 1043 A2."

Frank S. Betz Co. moved to Hammond in 1905, and operated there until its absorption by the A.S. Aloe Co. in 1937 (according to this company history from the Hammond Historical Society). So, the item most likely dates to the period 1905-1937, which coincides with the medical education and advanced neurological study of Robert Dow.

If you have any thoughts about the purpose of this piece of equipment, give us a holler at homref at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Could be an electroshock-therapy machine of some sort. That was new in the 1930s i think.