The Radiac, or Radio-Active Appliance

My great-aunt recently died at the age of 100. While cleaning out her garage I came across an unusual device (shown below) stored in a shoebox. The literature in the shoebox identified it as a "Radio-Active Appliance (Impedance Device)".

click to enlarge

Some googling reassured me that it's not actually radioactive. It turns out to be an oddball healing gadget used by followers of the clairvoyant Edgar Cayce. So it makes sense that my great-aunt would have one of these, since she was a long-time Cayce devotee.

A description of the device from an Edgar Cayce website:

Vibrational appliances are a unique contribution to alternative medicine from the Cayce readings. The first one I’ll discuss is the Radiac Appliance, also called the Radial Appliance, Radio-Active Device [Radio Active Appliance], Impedance Device or the Radiac. The specifications for the construction of this gadget were entirely channeled from the Source of Cayce’s readings. Cayce himself, knew nothing about this device, nor did this device exist at the time...

How does it work? In electrical terms it could be called a capacitor, (passive electrical component), surrounded by a resistor, (a two terminal electrical component). In other words, it would seem to be some kind of battery. Interestingly, unlike a battery, the Radiac appliance offers no electrical charge or output of its own. It utilizes your own electrical currents and manipulates them in such a way as to give you back your own perfect recharge. It is truly medicine for your energy.

To use it, you're supposed to place the device in a bowl of ice water, attach the electrodes to your wrist and ankle, and then sit like this for half-an-hour to let it "recharge" you.

It's still possible to buy these. Baar products sells a "Radiac Starter Kit" for $315. According to the receipt in the shoebox, my great-aunt paid $15 for hers, back in 1977.

I'm left with the problem of what to do with the thing. I doubt it has any resale value. But it's too strange to simply toss it. It'll probably end up back in the shoebox on a top shelf in the garage.
     Posted By: Alex - Fri Apr 15, 2022
     Category: Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil

Wellll... if they sold for over 300 dollars, it is not worthless. Cayce cures are still used in medicine today. Nobody can explain how the cures worked. Read the Kirkpatrick biography. Its fascinating.
Posted by John Church on 04/15/22 at 09:25 AM
I'm not an EE, and I've had little experience with RF, but it's my understanding that all you need for a radio circuit is a capacitor, a resistor, and a diode (you have to add things like an antenna and speaker to make it useful, but it'll work even without those). That might be where the "radio-active" part of the name comes from.

If I had to formulate a theory as to how it works, I'd harken back to the old "imbalance of the humours" and say your body's electrical signals can be imbalanced/scrambled, and this device smooths them out.

I'd feel better about it if it had a diode of some nature, and I'd want mine to have at least two or three transistors to amplify the signal to make it dominant where it re-enters the body, and an LED readout would be nice . . .

I am, of course, relying on Cunningham's Law -- surely someone here has expertise in RF circuits and can provide a proper answer.
Posted by Phideaux on 04/15/22 at 09:55 AM
John -- I should have added that, according to the literature, a Radiac is supposed to pair exclusively with an individual person. The instructions emphasize, "Never use anyone else's Radiac." This, presumably, makes a used Radiac worthless.
Posted by Alex on 04/15/22 at 04:31 PM
Very fitting that the person who runs Weird Universe should end up with this. I think you should put it on the fireplace mantle and when anyone ask's what it is......they win a free session. Yea even if it is not "tuned" to them. Should be fun.
Posted by Mike on 04/15/22 at 07:25 PM
@John Church: don't confuse cost with worth. People pay for horoscopes, too. The reason nobody can explain how this nonsense works is that, well, it doesn't.
Posted by Richard Bos on 04/16/22 at 11:23 AM
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