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Why were vibrators originally invented?

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Dr. J. Mortimer Granville was a medical innovator credited with creating the first vibrator in the late eighteen hundreds for the condition known as hysteria – which the vibrator was invented to treat. Due to the fact that its immense generator restricted the vibrator to only be used in the doctor’s surgery it was not thought of to make it a portable device like we see today.


Why were vibrators invented? - Hysteria


The vibrator became very popular with Victorian and Edwardian women, as at the time many doctors feared a “hysteria” epidemic to take over with 70% of women demanding a cure as they believed that they had the disorder at the time.

At first, midwives and medical doctors, manually massaged a woman’s vulva and clitoral region in order for the woman to experience a “hysterical paroxysm” to contradict the medical condition known as hysteria.


Steam powered 1800's Vibrator


Many women sought to acquire personal devices and transport it from the surgery to the room of their choice. This demand evolved the vibrator to became smaller and more portable. After the invention had be patented as a product by Dr. J. Mortimer Granville, this opened up the door for new innovations by entrepreneurs outside the medical field.

From here the benefits of handheld electric current vibrators that could be carried out of the doctor’s office and into the world of beauty and pleasure were noticed.


Vibrator treatment doctors clinic 1800's


These early vibrators became fashionable among the medical professions and were used for treating a wide variety of ailments in women and men including constipation, amenorrhea, hysteria, arthritis, inflammations, and tumours.

It has even been noted that during World War I some soldiers received vibro-therapy as treatment at English and French hospitals in Serbia.

The early 1900’s saw the first electric vibrators acquirable for personal purchase and use at home. Not until the sexual revolution of the 1960’s did vibrators reappear as best-selling, well-advertised product. From these developments over time vibrators are now openly recognized and celebrated as the sexy devices they are today.