Gymnasticon Engraving (1798)

The World History Archive and Compendium


The gymnasticon was an early version of a type of exercise machine. This machine resembles the stationary bicycle of today. This is a 1798 engraving of the gymnasticon demonstrating how it is suppose to be used . The machine was designed to exercise the joints of the body. Francis Lowndes was the inventor of the gymnasticon,but it also represented advances in medical science. This machine was gradually leading to the development of physical therapy. Lowndes made the claim that the gymnasticon could treat various aliments such as gout, rheumatism, palsy, and debility. The gymnasticon owes its origins to the rise of orthopedic science in the 1700s. Devices and new technologies were being developed to help treat injuries, diseases, or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedics was a new medical science at the time and there was more to learn about the process of rehabilitation. It seems that medical professionals were…

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