The Vibrator's Handy History

The Vibrator's Handy History

Oh my. Oh no. 

The best kept secret for many women has now been exposed. Diamonds are not a woman’s best friend. It’s a vibrator!

For many women, the vibrator is a best-kept secret. Over the years, this dependable tool has taken many forms. These days, women are taking the lead in designing our handy-dandy tool. That's definitely a good thing. 

So, let's trace the history of the beloved vibrator, dating all the way back to prehistoric times.

Prehistoric times as in no electricity in sex toys. In fact, let’s go way back before Cleopatra's urban legend. You know the one with the insect gourd? Legend has it she ordered servants to carve out a gourd and insert bees. The vibrations of the makeshift vibrator would stimulate her genitals. Yeah, we know it sounds a bit crazy - totally cray, cray. Not much has changed. The vibrator is used today for the same purpose–’good, good, good, good vibrations’!

Back then, women needed relief from symptoms of depression and anxiety called hysteria. Hysteria is derived from the Greek word for uterus. Before the vibrator, doctors would finger women on their operating tables and call it a "pelvic massage." In The Technology of Orgasm: "Hysteria," the Vibrator and Women's Sexual Satisfaction, science historian Rachel P. Maines reports that physicians often passed the job off to midwives.

If the doctor's or midwives' hands were too tired, they would use a water massage to treat hysteria. Aren’t you glad to know you can handle this yourself now? Peace and love to the women living during this era.

Back to the prehistoric vibrator before Cleopatra.

The first dildo was discovered in a German cave and made of siltstone. They made the first phallic sex toys from chalk which dates back 28,000 years B.C. to the Neolithic Era 

Later in the 1800s, Dr. George Taylor was credited in 1869 for his vibrator to relieve symptoms of hysteria. In 1880, Dr. Joseph Mortimer Granville patented the first electromechanical vibrator.

Moving into the 1900s, doctors were still trying to treat hysteria. Doctors began developing more vibrators because they were simply tired of using their fingers. The nerve. A vibrator called ‘the Arnold’ was marketed as a massage tool to cure and prevent disease and disorder. Oh, and as a facial massager too. A really versatile tool, right? SMH.

In the 1920s, the vibrator was introduced to women as a household appliance for beauty and body ailments. Oh, and it had a large motor. It appeared in smut films and porn magazines. In fact, did you know it was only the fifth household appliance electrified? No surprise if the ladies went out on a little horseback ride just because. Wink, wink.

In the 1930s, innovation and craftiness were on the rise. The tail end of the Victorian Age, around 1910, to the 1930s was really the golden age of vibrator history. During this time, many innovative models came to the market, like this Massage Master II. It has three different heads to really "work out those sore muscles."

In the 1940s, the marketed "massagers" were out and looked a lot like a screwdriver.

The 1950s vibrators received another upgrade with a button for speed control.

Finally, in the 1960s, you would probably recognize this massager. Possibly your mom's favorite?  Demand and popularity for massagers really began to soar.

The 1970s were a time of improvement for the new well-loved product. Many considered the Hitachi Magic Wand, which is still sold and used today, the best of the best vibrators.

In the 1980s and 1990s, a rise in sex toy companies and toys which focused on clitoral stimulation were birthed. Thank you, Fukoku, for being one of the first-finger vibrator. 

The 21st century is here. Personal "massagers" for women are stylish and able to stimulate several parts of the female anatomy. Cue Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing." 

Welcome to the vibrator revolution.