A "psychograph" machine to diagnose your personality through measuring bumps on your head. A "therapy chair" powered by electricity that rattled and claimed to cure constipation. They're both on display at the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices.
Housed within the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, the collection showcases devices of questionable medical worth –- items that, absent of actual research, were designed to cure any number of physical or mental ailments.
Some of them are good for a laugh. But others were truly dangerous. During the late 1940s and 1950s, shoe-fitting X-ray machines showed shoppers images of their feet in shoes -- all the while leaking radiation. By the 1970s, the devices had been banned in 33 states and regulated out of practicality in the remaining 17 states. However, one such machine, still being used by employees and patrons, was discovered in a West Virginia department store in 1981. It's now, fittingly, on display at the museum [source: Museum of Quackery].
The 300 items from the Museum of Questionable Devices were donated to the Science Museum of Minnesota after the curator Bob McCoy retired in 2002. In 2014, just a portion of the questionable devices are on display. However, a larger traveling exhibit is being developed over the next few years [source: Science Museum of Minnesota].