07/06/2005: From the "History of Household Appliances" department:
Slate has provided a helpful, slideshow based history of the vibrator. From this we learn that "vulvar massage" by hand dated back the the time of Hippocrates as a therapy for "hysterical" patients, though there seemed to be something of a vogue for it in the 19th century. But even more interestingly, we learn:
Around the turn of the century, entrepreneurs began to recognize the huge potential market for hand-held vibrators for home use. Vibrator innovation was in fact a driving force behind the creation of the small electric motor. Hamilton Beach of Racine, Wis., patented its first take-home vibrator in 1902, making the vibrator the fifth electrical appliance to be introduced into the home, after the sewing machine and long before the electric iron.Something to think about the next time you reach for Hamilton Beach....
Len on 07.06.05 @ 05:18 AM CST