The savant responsible for the startling breakthrough, Dr. Albert Abrams, was no ordinary doctor, and indeed some would say that he was not a doctor at all. To be sure, the San Francisco native had obtained a medical degree in the early 1880s at the prestigious university of Heidelberg and had enjoyed a successful career in medical research and treatment. At the time of the Vittori case, he was affiliated with the recently established medical school of Stanford university. But over the previous decade, Abrams had moved increasingly beyond the fold of medical orthodoxy. He had developed a theory of the body as an electrical system, which he called ErA, the Electronic reactions of Abrams. According to this theory, diseased and healthy parts of the body gave off electric vibrations that could be measured by a special machine and then interpreted by a trained ErA diagnostician. Through a series of astonishing gadgets of his own invention, Abrams claimed to be able to diagnose and cure a range of ailments, from tuberculosis to syphilis to cancer. By the time of the Vittori case, he had founded a journal, a laboratory, and a special school devoted to electronic medicine. He also had a growing cadre of disciples, both medical practitioners who trained in his methods and grateful patients who benefited from them. But it was Virginia Vittori’s paternity that first vaulted Abrams into the national and international limelight.