DR. FRANZ MESMER (1734-1815)
Dr. Franz Friedrich Anton Mesmer was an Austrian physician who was infamous for inducing a hypnotic and trancelike state in human beings as a curative remedy. This process of mesmerism, as it soon became known, was powerful enough to excercise an extraordinary influence on the human body. The doctor labeled this ability as animal magnetism. In 1772, Mesmer first began to develop and refine his technique, and three years later he published a report on his discovery, under the claim that it possesssed medicinal value. Mesmer's system included the use of the glass armonica as a hypnotic device, because the sounds produced were extremely high-pitched and ethereal. Incidentally, in 1785 the French government appointed a committee of physicians and scientists to investigate the work of the Austrian. Their incriminating findings forced Mesmer into a life of shame and disrepute. Nevertheless, the world will never forget Dr. Mesmer, who pioneered the field of hypnotic therapy.