Perkin’s Metallic Tractors

The interesting word in this definition isn’t vampirism, but instead ‘tractors’. Perkin’s metallic tractors were originally the name of a device consisting of a pair of pointed rods of different metals, such as brass and steel, which were believed to relieve rheumatic or other pain by being drawn or rubbed over the skin. This is where the term tractor came into the English language. Tractor became of more general term for something which is pulled, before eventually being used to describe a new type of engine. This is where the modern usage of the term for farm equipment comes from. Anyways, this comic is about industrialization.


vampirism, n. The collective facts or ideas associated with the supposed existence and habits of vampires.

The supposed existence..of witchcraft, vampyrism, animal magnetism and American tractors.
— Erasmus Darwin, ‘Zoonomia; or, The laws of organic life’ (1794)