Index to Chiropractic Literature
Index to Chiropractic Literature
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ID 22125
  Title The rise and fall of the Ellis Micro-Dynameter: 1923-1962
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Journal Chiropr Hist. 2011 Winter;31(2):33-41
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Peer Review Yes
Publication Type Article
Abstract/Notes In 1923, engineer Francis C. Ellis designed an invention that would temporarily change the face of chiropractic. After being unveiled in 1935 at a Pittsburgh science exhibit, the Ellis Micro-Dynameter’s (MDM) popularity exploded. The newfound machine had the ability to tender a diagnosis and formulate a prognosis for patients in minutes. The MDM, with these unique abilities, was invaluable to chiropractors because they could see actual results to the treatment given, and this was something that could never be done before. After many years of flourishing, the manufacturer of the MDM, Ellis Research Laboratories Inc., was brought to court on charges of advertising misleading labeling of the machine’s abilities by the Food and Drug Administration. On 22 March 1962, after the FDA won the court case, an injunction was ordered on all interstate commerce of the MDM. In 1962, U.S. Marshals swooped into chiropractors’ offices around the world seizing all MDMs, based off warrants issued by the FDA. The MDM’s reputation faded into obscurity, it was labeled as a machine of quackery, and it was either forgotten or never heard of again.

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