Patented August 3, 1919

Item #136 - Electreat hand held 'Pain Reliever', early 20th century; Chrome plated cylinder 9" long, 1.5" diameter, with roller at one end; Takes 2 D-Cell batteries; Slide control for strength of electric shock; Excellent working condition.


The Electreat was an early TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) device. One of the few electro-therapeutic quack devices not banned by the FDA in the 1930's, probably because the manufacturer made few outrageous claims as to its efficacy. The use of electricity to relieve pain goes back to the ancient Greeks, who advocated going down to the sea and standing on an electric eel to cure a headache.

The unit was held in one hand and the roller was applied to the treated area.

The Electreat manual is available at the Electro Therapy Museum

Oscilloscope waveform showing the actual output of this Electreat.

This sample produces 1,250 volts with the control set to maximum. The output can be adjusted from a light tingle to a shock suitable for a cattle prod.

Identifying cap. Cap is removed and 2 common D-Cell batteries are inserted to turn the device on.

The Electreat Patent, issued in 1919 is available on Google.

Interior view showing lack of battery corrosion.