The Jevons brothers capitalised on the Victorian fashion for electro-magnetism with a range of products - including the "Goliath Belt," the "Chest Strengthener" and the "Spinal Reviver" that could be worn discreetly under the clothing. One of their adverts described the terrible state of a person deficient in the vital or magnetic force:
...the poor dyspeptic, who is elated by a trifle or depressed by the exaggerated view he takes of some trivial difficulty. Such a person is irritable because his objects are nearly always defeated, from a want of physical and moral stamina in carrying them out. He is distrustful of the future by reason of the past and "plucks unripened fruit lest in waiting others should forestall him." (Belfast News-letter, 29 August 1885)
The cure was, of course, "a few powerful magnets," at such a low price that "the very poorest person, with a little economy, can by their aid procure all the benefit which electricity is capable of yielding."
The modern-day equivalents are somewhat less of a bargain. A few years ago I shelled out £60 for some magnetic boots for a horse that was recovering from a ligament injury, having got to the stage where anything seemed worth a try. Unsurprisingly, they made sod all difference.
A BENEFICIAL DISCOVERY
------------- COMPOUND-MAGNETIC BANDS AND PADS FOR NEURALGIA, RHEUMATISM, NERVOUSNESS. (Parkes' Patent). The Direct REMEDIAL USE of Magnetism is now within reach of everyone, by a New Principle, producing a com- bination of MANY MAGNETS IN ONE.
MESSRS. JEVONS, KING'S HEATH, BIRMINGHAM, supply the Appliances post free on receipt of remittance.
ARMLET, to fix also in a Bracelet or Garter, price 1s. PAD, for Soreness or Neuralgia in Face and Head, 1s. 6d. BAND, of great power, to wear on any part of Body, for Rheumatism, Spinal Weakness, Stomach, Loins, Chest, 2s. 6d.
THE COMPLETE SET, testing Compass included, 5s. Full instructions on Circular accompanying the articles. AN EXPLANATION OF THE PRINCIPLE is sent with Set, or may be had free on apllication to Messrs. Jevons. The items can be obtained from a Chemist; or as above. Trade supplied at 10, Bartlett's-buildings, London, E.C.
---------------- ELECTRIC LIFE-MAGNETISM.
Source: Reynolds's Newspaper, (London) Sunday 27 April 1884