The Turn Of The Century Electrotherapy
What's New in 2013...
Last Updated: Saturday 19 October 2013, 23:00:00 EST
Announcing a special endorsement...
Electrotherapy Museum and Snovonne collaboration
For Snovonne's "Snowhite (Freezing Skin)" video I was adamant that no part of our archive was left off-limits or considered "too precious" to be used in the shoot. There is little reason to preserve history if it cannot be seen, touched, experienced, and (most of all) remembered. One of the best examples is this late 1700s Static Electric Machine, the oldest machine in the video and our collection. It was found near Philadephia by Andy Barr and was located in an old barn not far from where Benjamin Franklin and Joseph Priestley used to live - they were two of the foremost electrical experimenters and natural philosophers of the 1700s, and pivotal in forming the revolutionary mindset that forged the creation of the United States Of America. The machine was carefully restored with the help of my friend Ashley Smith, and is now fully functional as it was over 200 years ago.
Casually sitting in the background of Snovonne's "Snowhite (Freezing Skin)" video...personal items of Kenneth Strickfaden, the man who created the electrical props for Universal Studio's Frankenstein (and more than 100 other films). These fantastic electrical machines were all real, folks...if there were 12 foot sparks darting past someone's head it was actually there...no digital editing back then. On shoots too dangerous for actors to take part in Strickfaden played a stunt double, most famously for Boris Karloff. Few personal items still exist, when Hollywood couldn't fetch top dollars for his gear a lot of it was scrapped and lost. Priceless history, once again. Great to know we found an outlet for this that would do Strickfaden proud...of that I am certain... Sno might have exceed him in this one (and she had no stunt doubles!) ...
These items were handed down to me from Bill Wysock, who was given them by John Foster. Both were close friends of Ken. Ken died in 1984, and the recently departed Harry Goldman wrote an amazing book on his life: "Kenneth Strickfaden: Dr. Frankenstein's Electrician" McFarland & Co. Press. Now with Bill gone, well, us few are left to carry the torch. I am the first person to actually make these artifacts function in more than 50 years...and can be seen, they are still ... "ALIVE"...