Historic Vibrators Gallery


The Birtman was an office model available to physicians in 1904. The motor is inside the large housing at the top; vibratodes were attached to the gun-shaped applicator at the end of the cable. The image is from Snow, Mary Lydia Hastings Arnold. Mechanical vibration and its therapeutic application. New York: Scientific authors' Pub. Co., 1904.

Historic Vibrators Gallery


The Electrospatteur, another physician's model, delivered a combination of vibration with a mild electrical shock. It was manufactured by the Armstrong Electric Company of Indianapolis about 1901.

Historic Vibrators Gallery


The Victor was manufactured by Keystone Electric of Philadelphia in 1903. The left side was a vibrator, the speed of which was controlled by the lever in the middle of the console, the one over the (unlabeled) mother-of-pearl speed indicators. The right side was a pneumatic attachment, which, like a vacuum cleaner, could either inhale or exhale. It could, as it were, either blow or suck, depending on the user's requirements.

Historic Vibrators Gallery


The Weiss vibrator was, as far as I know, the first electromechanical vibrator to be commercially available, available by 1883 from the still-active British medical instrument manufacturer Weiss. It was based on the work of a British physician, from whose book this illustration is drawn: Granville, J. Mortimer. Nerve-vibration and excitation as agents in the treatment of functional disorder and organic disease. London:
Churchill, 1883.

Historic Vibrators Gallery


Yalor is, like Taylor's Manipulator, a steam-powered device of 1885, although the steam-engine is out of frame (to the right) in the picture. It was used for what was then known as "Swedish Massage," as shown.

Historic Vibrators Gallery


The Potsdam jolting chair dates from about 1890; the technology may have originated at the Salpetriere in Paris. The patient, sitting in the chair, pulled back on the two handles and received a jolt that was intended to replicate the supposed therapeutic effects of train travel.