From what I can gather, the idea of electrically treated miracle goop was much in vogue early on. it was a practice to stick a couple electrodes in some fluid, give it a zap. The net effect on the fluid was essentially zero. But it makes for interesting embossing.
I like the story of the monks experimenting with an early battery: where they all made a connection with one another from one jar of fluid to another and, when the connection was made, all practically jumped out of their skin like the Lord was gonna strike 'em dead.
By today's standards electricity seems so commonplace, we all were born and raised in the electric world. But in the pontil age, hardly anyone knew much about it. It was the great mystery to the ordinary man. Considering that, it is surprising to me that the patent medicine guys, always looking for a new angle, didn't exploit the electric meds more than they did.
By protecting do you mean preventing them from fading? Keep them in a room that doesn't get sunlight, for example using blackout curtains. Or if there is sunlight don't let it be direct. Low humidity...