Mr Twining and his electro-galvanic machine (1851)

Oxford Journal, 12 April 1851

TWINING’S     IMPROVED     ELECTRO-GALVANIC 
MACHINE,    manufactured    for  and    sold   by   Mr.   D.
TWINING,  Surgeon,  Winslow.    Smaller  instruments   £3 6s.,
£3 12s., £5 18s.
 Mr. T. respectfully begs to recommend the perusal of his Pros-
pectus, which  may  be  had  from  him  on receipt of two penny
stamps, to defray the postage.   Among the many important ad-
vantages to be derived from the use of the improved Apparatus
are the following:-

  1. Immediate and favourable effect on application.
  2. Agreeable sensation, even when the greatest quantity of the
    Galvanic fluid is introduced.
  3. A recirculation of the chyle, or nervous fluid, thereby
    strengthening the whole nervous system.
  4. Immediate relief from pain.
  5. The unpleasantness of taking nauseous drugs dispensed with.
  6. Rest to those who cannot sleep at night.
  7. And, above all, complete restoration of health.

  A  trial of  the  improved  Apparatus  will  shew that the advan-
tages here held out are not over-rated.

David Twining is recorded at what is now 4 High Street in the 1851 census with a varied household:

David Twining Head married 54 Surgeon, Chemist & Druggist & c., Grocer, Stationer & Spirits Merchant b. St Dogmaels, Pembs
Ellen Twining Wife married 40   b. Crickhowell, Brecon
Charles William John Kerr Lodger unm 50 Clergyman having no cure of souls b. Farnham, Surrey
John Grey Apprentice   13 Apprentice Chemist & Grocer b. Winslow
Festus Uff Servant unm 22 Grocer (Journeyman) b. Waddesdon
Elizabeth Smith Servant unm 19 House Servant b. Swanbourne

He was a lithographer in Haverfordwest in 1841, and that was one of his trades when he came to Winslow in or before 1847:

Bucks Herald, 23 Jan 1847
WINSLOW – LITHOGRAPHY – Of all the modern inventions, there is not one that bears a more conspicuous or useful part, as regards the assistance rendered to the Fine Arts through its aid, than Lithography; but being a chemical process, and requiring considerable time to obtain a thorough knowledge of it, it has hitherto been chiefly confined to the Lithographer. Mr. Twining of Winslow has, however, made such a discovery in this department of printing, that the most inexperienced can now draw, or put any device upon the Lithographic Stone, and also strike off an unlimited number of impressions. The importance of this discovery will at once be seen by the artist and amateur, and also by all those who, in business or otherwise situated, may require circulars, bill heads, plans, cards, labels, &c, &c as having a press of their own they can get quantity Lithographed at their own establishments.
LADIES AND AMATEURS SMALL LITHOGRAPHIC PRESS
LITHOGRAPHERS STONES, ROLLERS, INK, and every requisite SOLD by D. TWINING, Printer, Lithographer, and Stationer, Winslow.
NB. - Stones lent for Drawing and other purposes.

He was also a chemist, and advertised one of his inventions:

Bucks Herald, 3 July 1847
ANODYNE TOOTH PASTE AND TOOTH PRESERVER
A CERTAIN and an Instantaneous CURE FOR THE TOOTH ACHE. Prepared by Mr. D. TWINING, Medical Hall, Winslow
Sold in Pots at 1s 1½d, each and forwarded by Post on receipt of 18 Postage Stamps.
Hand pointingSole Agent for Aylesbury, Mr. STEDMAN.

In 1848 he was listed in the London Gazette as a chemist petitioning for insolvency; his case was heard in the County Court on 30 May. He also had trouble with customers and in 1850 had court judgments for several to pay him in instalments. He added to his qualifications in 1852:

Oxford Chronicle, 14 February 1852
MR. DAVID TWINING, of Winslow, having passed the necessary examinations, has been admitted a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. As this gentleman must have received his instruction in the medical profession many years ago; - to pass the court of examiners of the present day must therefore be highly to his credit; - as we are well aware that to go through an examination before them is a trying ordeal.

The Calendar of the Royal College of Surgeons lists David Twining in 1852 as an unregistered member, but another contemporaneous source suggests that he was admitted as a surgeon by the College. He described himself as surgeon in directories of 1853 and 1854, and an inquest in September 1853 heard that he treated Thomas Bradbury of Mursley for a week after he had fallen downstairs (Mr Bradbury died). Twining must have left Winslow later in the 1850s, and his death was registered at Cardigan in 1864.

The Twinings were also involved in a murder trial in 1850-1. Ann Pell of Paulerspury was accused of poisoning two of her children with arsenic. She was committed for trial by Towcester magistrates on 19 August 1850, and the trial took place in March 1851. Ellen Twining gave evidence to the magistrates that Pell had come to her shop around 7 p.m. one day in July 1850 to buy twopennyworth of arsenic to kill rats and mice, which she refused to sell her as she did not know her and did not like the look of her. She identified Pell in court. However, Pell was found not guilty: the evidence was circumstantial, and the defence counsel said it had not been proved that she really did try to buy arsenic at Winslow - perhaps because, if the Northampton Mercury reported it correctly, Ellen Twining's evidence changed to 5 p.m. and onepennyworth of arsenic.

Electro-galvanic machineMedical treatment by electricity was pioneered in London in the 1780s by Dr Graham and his Temple of Health which catered for the very rich. Luigi Galvani (1737-98) popularised the theory of animal electricity and may have influenced Frankenstein. Electro-galvanic machines (see example on right) were supposed to send a current of electricity through the patient "in one direction only" to treat a variety of medical problems. One by Horne, Thornwaite & Wood was shown at the Great Exhibition in 1851.

This advertisement does not include any names or addresses, but very probably refers to another of Twining's ventures:

Oxford Chronicle, 10 Sep 1853

BATHS, Winslow, Bucks
THE following BATHS are ready daily (Sundays excepted):-
1. Aromatic, 2 Iodide of Iron, 3 Iodine, 4 Sea Water, each     3s 0d
5 Bran, 6 Hot, 7 Astringent, each     2s 0d
8 Tepid    1s 6d
9 Shower, 10 Breast, 11 Ascending, 12 Sitz, 13 Cold, each  1s 0d
Respectable Attendants
Printed particulars, showing the Medical Properties of each bath, may be had on application to the Bath Attendant; if per Post one Stamp to be transmitted.


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