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Dr. Elisha Perkins
Dr. Elisha Perkins
1741 - 1799
Biography: Dr. Elisha Perkins was born in Norwich, Connecticut in 1741. He studied medicine with his father Joseph Perkins, and later settled in Plainfield, Connecticut. He is chiefly known for his "metalic tractors", small castings of steel or brass, flat on one side, rounded at the top and coming to a point at the bottom. These instruments were drawn for twenty minutes at a time over arthritic and rheumatic areas. Tremendously popular in America at first, they eventually came into disrepute and Dr. Perkins' reputation was so damaged that he was expelled from the Connecticut Medical Society. Nonetheless, he remains an important figure for other medical accomplishments. Perkins died in 1799.