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Electric vibrator was invented for men, not for women

06.02.2012
 
Electric vibrator was invented for men, not for women. 46541.jpeg

Most people never thought of when and how an electric vibrator was invented. The common misconception is that this device was created for women. Quite the contrary - according to the creator of the vibrator, it was intended for men who could not relax.

At the end of the 19th century, a British physician patented the first electric vibrator in the world, but the first ones to enjoy the invention were his male colleagues.

The inventor named his creation "Hammer." The ingenious doctor was weak, and feared the unexpected success of his invention. Joseph Mortimer Granville admitted in his little book on "the vibration of the nerves," written in 1883, that he would never test this device on women. He said that his invention most likely was meant to relax the clenched muscles in male patients.

In the Puritan-prudish Victorian England Mortimer Granville developed the world's first electric vibrator, a drill with a small ball on the end. When clicking on the device, it would start humming. The electric power was supplied from the battery the size of a suitcase.

"Hammer of Granville," as the invention was soon dubbed, made redundant a specific medical therapy practiced for centuries - a massage of the clitoris with fingers in patients with a diagnosis of "hysteria." This process is clearly shown in the comedy Hysteria by American director Tanya Wexler. The film shows that this method required a great deal of time, did not always lead to the desired result, and made the doctor's hand so tired that it had to be placed in a bowl of ice.  Physicians in antiquity also practiced this delicate hand work. The so-called hysteria (Greek word hysteria means "womb") was regarded as women's disease from the time of Hippocrates. The disease was believed to stem from the uterus and lead to stagnation of female juices in the body.

Hippocrates, who gave it the name "hysteria", first described the hysterical aphonia (lack of voice in the preservation of sonority whisper voice), that a patient of his suffered from. Only Aretha Cappadocia (approximately 1st-2nd century AD), considered hysteria a chronic disease that manifested itself in young women. He also suggested that men could also develop the symptoms of hysteria.

To solve the female problem, doctors were charged with summoning "hysterical crisis" through a genital massage. In fact, it meant the female orgasm. Nevertheless, until the early twentieth century, no one perceived it as such. The prevailing view was that only normal sexual intercourse with a man could lead to satisfaction.  

Ladies were enjoying the therapy. Wealthy women from the higher strata of society regularly visited their personal physicians. The massage was administered once a week, sometimes doctors have resorted to alternative procedures for stimulation. In the Middle Ages, they also repeatedly advised to conduct such activities with widows and nuns.

Various baths, Jacuzzi and spa treatments were very popular with European ladies of high society. British observer Therme Malvern back in 1851 wrote that after "hydrotherapy" women were happy as if "they drank champagne."

American doctor George Taylor (George Taylor) in 1869 acquired a patent for a "manipulator" operated by steam. This bulky and expensive device was mounted under a couch, and equipped with a slot where women would lay for a treatment. 14 years later, his British counterpart, Joseph Mortimer Granville, invented a more compact and user-friendly electric version of the device. A modern vibrator appeared shortly after the first electric iron, and nearly two decades before the vacuum cleaner, invented by a British Hubert Cecil Booth.

"Granville Hammer" delighted the American Samuel Spencer Wallian as "in five or ten minutes" he was able to solve the problem that previously required "at least an hour of careful manipulation."

Visitors to the Paris World Exhibition in 1900 admired more than a dozen copies of various models from a simple uncomplicated vibrator with a drive handle or foot pedal to the luxury brand model Chattanooga for $200.

Advertisers promoted vibrators as medical devices for massage, absolutely necessary in medical practice. Some doctors acquired all available models on the market and opened special offices where they served several patients at a time. Vibrators became popular among men. Based on some articles, they were a panacea for nearly all ailments. For those unwilling to entertain themselves, the ubiquitous ads offered a vibrator as a Christmas gift that can return women "shine in their eyes and blush on the cheeks."

A vibrator was believed to be a remedy for arthritis, impotence, hair loss, constipation, or excess fat on the thighs. The omnipotence of oscillations seemed unlimited. "The entire life is based on the vibration," Wallian urged his colleagues in 1905.

A funny incident happened to the American historian Rachel Maines who, in search of material for her research on the history of sewing machines, has written the history of the vibrator. In 1999 her major work The Technology of Orgasm. "Hysteria", the Vibrator and Women's Sexual Satisfaction was born.

There the researcher, in particular, mentions that in 1918 Sears, Roebuck and Company has developed a project of a vibrator that could be attached to a universal kitchen machine with attachments for the mixer, blender, and a fan.

As if by magic, vibrator ads suddenly disappeared from the pages of women's magazines. What happened? According to Ms. Mines, on the one hand, Sigmund Freud's research has increased awareness of the female orgasm. On the other hand, vibrators began to appear in erotic films as a generator of female happiness.

Among most famous first sex films is "The history of the nuns" (not to be confused with the famous film of 1959 with Audrey Hepburn). The porn film shot in the late 1920s demonstrated a woman saying goodbye to a man at her door so she could go to her bedroom alone with an archaic vibrator.

The feminists' movement in the 1970s and the efforts of the American Conservative government under President Ronald Reagan helped the triumphant return of vibrators in the hands of American housewives. Under the framework of the campaign to combat AIDS a civil servant, U.S. military doctor, General Everett Koop in May of 1988 published an eight-page brochure where along with the use of condoms he also recommended to use vibrators.

Igor Bukker

Pravda.Ru 

Read the original in Russian

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