Who Invented the Vibrator? From Repression to Liberation

The Mother of Invention

Who Invented the Vibrator?

Who Invented the Vibrator?

The popularity of the vibrator has grown simultaneously with the understanding, acceptance and celebration of female sexuality. This prompts many to wonder: who invented the vibrator? Well, as it turns out, this incredibly practical device was born of necessity due to a widespread case of carpal tunnel syndrome.

As recently as the mid 19th Century, pronounced sexual frustration in women was grossly misdiagnosed by the western medical community as a condition called “hysteria”. The denial of  human sensuality stemming from long-held religious beliefs had effectively subjugated the very idea of a female libido. Women were recognized solely for their reproductive capacities and all ideas suggesting physical desire were roundly dismissed as nonsense. Doctors would treat female patients suffering from what is now known to be sexual repression by vigorously stimulating the vagina to induce “paroxysms” — or orgasms — as they are called today. Obviously, this would provide temporary relief for the patient with emphasis on “temporary”.     

Who Invented the Vibrator? Exhausted Doctors

The popularity of this procedure grew quickly, especially in England and the United States, and by the late 19th century demand was at an all time high. Doctors specializing in “hysteria treatments” were experiencing exhaustion and suffering from atrophic forearm tendons due to the physical requirements of the job. This inspired an American by the name of Dr. George Taylor to invent “The Manipulator” — a steam powered contraption for treating hysteria that was roughly the size of a dining room table. Shortly thereafter electricity was invented, and in 1880 the Electromechanical Vibrator was patented in England by one Dr. Joseph Mortimer Granville. Ironically, when randy ol’ multiple mistress keeping Benjamin Franklin discovered how to harness electricity, it was he who helped the vibrator evolve into a more effective form, albeit inadvertently.

These devices allowed doctors to treat their patients with greater efficiency, yet vibrators also began to validate the idea of a female libido. Although this knowledge was agreed upon among self-reliant women in hushed tones, the necessity of the vibrator became incredibly obvious. As technology advanced, so too did the ergonomic form and practical efficiency of a lady’s best friend.

The battery-powered vibrator was introduced in 1899. Sexually frustrated women were finally able to achieve satisfaction without having to endure the clinical and sensually neutral experience of a “hysteria treatment”. The medical community and society at large, however, continued to deny the true use of the device. Dr. Granville himself maintained that his invention was purely medical and had no implications whatsoever in being used as a sexually satisfying tool. After being featured in X-rated films of the 1920s, the vibrator garnered a taboo connotation. Thusly, it was marketed and sold under the pretense of being a muscle massager and to this day, vibrators are rarely if ever advertised in women’s magazines.

Who Invented the Vibrator of Today? A Bunch of Innovative Geniuses

Ina Wave Vibrator

Ina Wave Vibrator

Nevertheless, at the turn of the 20th century the vibrator revolution had begun. This led to the commonly accepted belief (in the Western world at least) that use of vibrators to achieve sexual satisfaction is healthy not only for women, but for men and for couples as well. The modern vibrator marketplace has produced an enthralling array of inventions designed to stimulate specific areas of the female erogenous anatomy including the clitoris, the G-spot and both areas at the same time. Couples looking to spice things up can enjoy the mutually exciting experience of vibrating toys designed to be worn by him and even to be worn by her. Adventurous individuals who crave a bit of pleasure on the go can take their discreet vibrators with them as they go about their day, and enjoy a bit of covert vibrating stimulation wherever and whenever they like.   

It may be true that the people who invented the vibrator were simply trying to make a doctor’s job a little easier. Yet, a century later, it turns out they made life better for millions of regular folks as well.

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Luke Schmaltz is a freelance writer in Denver, Colorado specializing in articles, blog posts, social media and PR. He focuses on entertainment, pop culture, health, fitness and SEO while his creative pursuits include songwriting, fiction and nonfiction.

One Commentto Who Invented the Vibrator? From Repression to Liberation

Who Invented the Vibrator? From Repression to Liberation
  1. Loradae says:

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