Victorian Vibrators

They might look like antique egg whisks but these kitchen implements are in fact vibrators, designed to enhance female pleasure.

Dr. Macaura's Pulsocon Hand Crank (1890) Vibrator,
Dr. Macaura’s Pulsocon Hand Crank (1890) Vibrator

It was the Victorians who invented the modern vibrator.

Doctors in the late 19th century believed that women suffering from “hysteria” could be cured by administering “pelvic massages”.

But with so many women needing these pelvic massages and with their hands tiring from it all, to such an extent that they had to relax them in ice, they decided to invent some machines to help them – the first were hand cranked but later they  were designed to be run on electricity.

victorian vibrator

Victorian women suffering from “weeping, nymphomania, frigidity, melancholia and anxiety”, were all diagnosed  as suffering from “hysteria”. “Hysteria” comes from the Latin hystericus, meaning “of the womb” and doctors beleivd lal these conditions stemmed from a disorder of the woman’s uterus.

In fact this wasn’t a new belief ever since Ancient Greece and Hippocrates many nervous conditions of women were attributed to “stagnation” in a woman’s private parts.

The first electromechanical vibrator was patented in around 1880, by Brit Joseph Mortimer Granville – his story is told in the movie Hysteria, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal.

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