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In The Beginning part 2

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As electricity began reaching homes In the late 1800’s, manufacturers began producing appliances that were powered by this revolutionary energy source, and vibrators were amongst these. As the 19th century moved into the 20th, there were more than 50 types of vibrator on sale, including one that was an attachment for a motor that also drove a sewing machine.

Perhaps not as crazy as it may at first seem - what could be more normal than the the lady of the house spending hours locked away in her sewing room, working hard at mending and making clothes and reappearing flushed and tired after her all her exertions ;)

For the next 20 or so years, the vibrator – or "massager", as it was known – enjoyed highly respectable popularity, advertised alongside other innocuous domestic appliances in the genteel pages of magazines such as Woman’s Home Companion beneath slogans describing them as "Such delightful companions", and promising, "All the pleasure of youth... will throb within you". In 1909, Good Housekeeping published a "tried and tested" review of different models, while an advert in a 1906 issue of Woman's Own assured readers, "It can be applied more rapidly, uniformly and deeply than by hand and for as long a period as may be desired.”

One wonders if the ladies, or indeed gentlemen who bought them for the ladies, really knew what they were buying? Although advertised as massagers and shown in advert’s being used to relieve aches and pains in the neck and small of the back, it seems unlikely that their true purpose was unknown, either by the consumer or manufacturer. The adverts used to sell these “massagers” left little to the imagination with one company lavishing this praise on its product - "thrilling, invigorating, penetrating, revitalising vibrations", guaranteed to create an "irresistible desire" in a woman to own one.

Amongst the many the many innovations delighting the Victorians was the cinema, and it was not long before porn industry began. The first porn movie is believed to have been made in 1897, titled “After the Ball” http://www.redux.com/view/post/3126653/World-s-First-Ever-Porn-Film-1897

Fast forward another 30ish years and the electric massager made it’s appearance in films - and the game was up. It became obvious to all what their real purpose was, and they all but disappeared from public view until the swinging sixties. 


Sources - Decca Aitkenhead/The Guardian

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