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Sad Day in Vibrator History

Sears, first retailer to sell the vibrator, declares bankruptcy.

1902 Hamilton Beach Vibrator

1902 Hamilton Beach Vibrator

In 1869, Dr. George Taylor invented the first vibrator. The “Manipulator” was an enormous steam-powered device used to treat “female hysteria.”

 

In 1902, Hamilton Beach patented the first electric vibrator available for retail sale. The Sears and Roebuck catalog featured ads for “mother’s little helper” to promote its sale. Because of the ease of mail order and the positive results of using this product, it soon became a household name! In fact, the vibrator was the 5th “household product” to be electrified. Only the sewing machine, toaster, teakettle, and fan were deemed more necessary for the maintenance of a happy household.  Moreover, inventions, such as the vacuum cleaner and electric iron, were not to market yet.

 

In the 1920s, a porn movie explicitly featured the vibrator eliminating its social acceptance. It quickly went underground for decades to follow. It wasn’t until March 28, 2968, when Jon H. Tavel patented the first “Cordless Vibrator for Use on the Human Body,” that we began to experience modern day vibrators. Since the 1980s, vibrators have evolved in shape, size, texture, and function. Today, sales of vibrators in the U.S. exceed $1 billion annually. As the years pass, new technology and increased sexual pleasure awareness has given rise to a product development evolution. Yeah for us!

 

The Sears and Roobuck catalog was an integral piece in the origins of retails sales of the vibrator. The catalog featured 1 page advertisements to promote its sale. Additionally, the popularity and commonality of Sears as a reputable company selling top notch household conveniences lent to the credibility of the vibrator and its desires use – to make women happier and less sexually frustrated.  While Sears has not sold vibrators in decades, we will remember the importance of the company’s initial promotion of one of the best inventions on the planet!

 

We love pleasure products. View some of our favorite vibes on our site or learn what brands we trust!

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