Staring with Mesmer and his book, Sur La Decouverte Du Magnetisme Animal (1779), Mesmer presented the belief as a legitimate science with real medical possibilities. Following the publication, the belief became popular across the continent in both a professional and popular capacity. In the popular capacity, mesmeric salons began to emerge. In a more professional manner, men of science began investigating the phenomena. In England, development of Mesmeric theory can be seen through the interaction it had with other discourses such as phrenology. Elliotson’s joining of the two sciences, displayed in his journal The Zoist in which he records his experiments with Mesmerism and phrenology.
Development of the science into a more mainstream line of investigation can also be seen through the international engagement with Mesmerism. Elliotson and Dupotet de Sennevoy collaborated on experiments, exemplifying this international cooperation.
The Final stage of development can be seen in James Braid’s association of Mesmerism to, what he coined, hypnotism. Although his ideas were not accepted initially, today’s hypnotism can be traced back to Braid, showing the final development of Mesmerism.