This unique distinctly victorian “quack” contraption was created to allow the doctor to travel throughout any given town as he traveled selling his treatment as a cure. The treatment consisted of seating the patient inside this cleverly constructed wooden panelled box with only their head’s exposed. A compound mixture was then inserted into the bottom through a small trap door. Vapours would then build up inside the box essentially bathing the patient in medicinal “smoke” or vapours. It’s unclear weather the patient would be clothed or not throughout the process however the box was indeed designed to surround the patient offering comfortable and discreet treatment.
The “box” is simply but handsomely painted wood with multi panels and several hand painted screen panels done in a floral motif. Elegant and efficient, certainly praised by many during it’s day as a wonderful treatment offered discreetly in the home for both comfort and convenience. For easy travel the entire piece breaks down flat in sections and would have taken little space in a wagon or strapped to the side of horse.
In all our years of collecting we have never seen another.
A vapour bath would be used in the treatment of Anhidrosis, which is the inability to sweat normally. When you don’t sweat (perspire), your body can’t cool itself, which can lead to and sometimes to heatstroke — a potentially fatal condition.