The Battle Creek Vibratory Chair, ca. 1900

Battle Cree Vibratory Chair, ca. 1900 In the early 20th century, the Battle Creek Sanitarium was one of the most famous health resorts in the world. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was the chief of staff; his brother Will Keith Kellogg was the San's bookkeeper. From their diet program came Kellogg's Corn Flakes; from the mechanotherapy department came the vibratory chair.

The chair shakes rather violently and is painful to sit in but after a few minutes of treatment it would supposedly stimulate intestinal peristalsis. A longer treatment would cure headackes and back pain and would also increase the supply of healthy oxygen to the body.

Left: The Vibratory Chair. On loan from the St. Louis Science Center.

Mechanotherapy Links

More about the Battle Creek Sanitarium

  • Cornflake Crusade by Gerald Carson - detailed history behind the Battle Creek Sanitarium
  • History of the community of Battle Creek, Michigan


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