an orgasm that transcends time
November 15, 2019 7:43 AM   Subscribe

The inventor of the first electrical vibrator, doctor Joseph Mortimer Granville, called his device “Granville’s Hammer” — and if that’s not obviously named by a man I don’t know what is. It was for male pain relief; he expressly didn’t want women to use it. “I have avoided, and shall continue to avoid the treatment of women by percussion,” he wrote in 1883, “simply because I do not wish to be hoodwinked, and help to mislead others, by the vagaries of the hysterical state.” Joke’s on you, Joseph. We’re all masturbating just to spite you now. Sex toy blogger Epiphora [NSFW] provides a quick history of the vibrator alongside reviews of three vintage vibes, with a few helpful notes from the Antique Vibrator Museum.
posted by sciatrix (26 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite


 
By Granville's Hammer, you shall be avenged!
posted by radwolf76 at 7:47 AM on November 15, 2019 [82 favorites]


'Vagaries of the Hysterical State' is just begging to be a band name
posted by mcfighty at 7:51 AM on November 15, 2019 [24 favorites]


'Vagaries of the Hysterical State'

yes, a VERY angry grrrrrllll band
posted by supermedusa at 8:08 AM on November 15, 2019 [19 favorites]


I was a freshman at Hysterical State and there's nothing vague happening at HSU. Nothing at all - it's a tremendously specific curriculum.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:32 AM on November 15, 2019 [41 favorites]


I graduated Post Menopausally from HSU
posted by Mrs Potato at 9:15 AM on November 15, 2019 [7 favorites]


@radwolf76 YOU BEAT ME TO IT
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:39 AM on November 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm tripping on the vagaries, man
posted by Mrs Potato at 9:48 AM on November 15, 2019


I got a Magna Cum Loudly from Hysterical State.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 10:30 AM on November 15, 2019 [48 favorites]


YOU BEAT ME TO IT

Beat you with Granville's Hammer, in fact.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:55 AM on November 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


Lemme tell you about a friend of mine from HBO's Watchmen named Excalibur...
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:59 AM on November 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


Victorian Era Orgasms and the Crisis Of Peer Review

Another good band name....another good story!
posted by lalochezia at 11:12 AM on November 15, 2019 [5 favorites]


I was a freshman at Hysterical State
Eternal rivals of Liminal State University.
posted by Bee'sWing at 11:30 AM on November 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


I got a Magna Cum Loudly from Hysterical State.

I pledged Delta.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:49 AM on November 15, 2019 [5 favorites]


My parents had one of those Oster massagers, in slightly updated form, in the 1970s. As far as I know it was only used for back rubs, but that’s not an area I want to speculate too deeply in. And it turns out you can still buy them! If you follow that link you will see they are being sold to barbershops so they can offer a quick back massage with your haircut. I don’t know how common that is, but the Wooten Barbershop in Austin did back in the 1980s when I was there (if you aren’t expecting it, it is a bit unnerving to have a middle aged guy with a crew cut suddenly start rubbing your neck with a vibrator at the end of your haircut). I wonder if they still do that; maybe an Austin Mefite can fill me in.
posted by TedW at 11:53 AM on November 15, 2019 [4 favorites]


There's a chain barber shop in Chicago (I think they're from Colorado originally?) called Floyd's. It's all rock 'n' roll themed, no Floyd Lawson of Mayberry, sadly. Or even Howard McNear.

Anyway, they still offer a post-haircut neck and shoulder vibe-rub. Though in my experience, hardly any of the stylists offer it. And I'm too embarrassed to ask. But—just yesterday, the woman who cut my hair gave me a vibe-rubdown unasked! It was quite nice. The device they use is pretty large (they use 2 hands to hold it) and very powerful. I kind of doubt that kind of power would work well for sexual stimulation, but who knows? I do not have a clitoris, but the ones my wife likes for erotic pleasuring are not nearly so powerful or giant.
posted by SoberHighland at 12:36 PM on November 15, 2019


If you want to see at least a couple of these, with their original boxes, head to Clark's Trading Post in Lincoln, NH. It's about the last place you'd expect to see them - it's basically your quintessential New Hampshire wholesome family tourist spot, at one end of the Kancamagus Highway (and on the other side: Storyland!), with a train ride into the woods (as you're being chased by the Wolfman), candle making, goofy attractions, and a little amphitheater where a circus act alternates with a trained-bear act. But the owners have collected tons and tons of stuff over the past century and in one of the buildings, the one with what could be the world's largest collection of batteries that have been cut in half, they have a couple of display cases packed with random 1920s-era stuff, including vibrators.
posted by adamg at 1:21 PM on November 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


Yeah, my grandparents had an older, more chrome-like version of that Oster style. And a flood-light sized infrared bulb. They'd occasionally be brought out for random shoulder pains and such from age and working the farm all day long. That thing would make your whole arm numb after a few minutes.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:25 PM on November 15, 2019


My aunt also had one of those things where you put a belt around your waist and it jiggled you back and forth to tone and tighten. That was fun too.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:29 PM on November 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


"Hoodwinking Granville's Hammer" should be a euphemism for something-or-other.
posted by Western Infidels at 2:42 PM on November 15, 2019 [6 favorites]


My Dad, would be 103 now, had a black enameled version of that Oster one, big round barrel sitting on top. Probably from mid to late 50's, left it on a shelf in the guest bathroom through the 90's!

Those metal springs hurt pulling on body hair.

Had better luck out in the back shed with a vibrating sander with a sponge for cushioning, alternating with an old fur coat from mom.

Ah, memories. . .
posted by goinWhereTheClimateSuitsMyClothes at 3:52 PM on November 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


Thanks, Sciatrix! Just what I needed today after a research rabbithole led me to the Tantra chair video demonstration videos. (Caution: those demo vids very NSFW. For most jobs, anyway. And with the soundtracks, perhaps all jobs.)
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 4:15 PM on November 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


I don't think "VibraKing™" would have sold as many units as Granville's Hammer.

But now I got that damn Beatles song stuck in my head. THANKS METAFILTER
posted by not_on_display at 9:53 PM on November 15, 2019


"At one end of the Kancamagus Highway" is the new (and only) go-to response to all questions like "hey, where's the [thing]?
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:41 AM on November 16, 2019


Play for power: the history of sex toys - "From unripe bananas to dried camel dung coated in resin - people in ancient Greece and Egypt turned out to be creative in finding sexual aids. Alternative materials used to carve dildos included stone, leather or wood. The world's first (discovered) dildo was found in Germany and dates back 28,000 years. The 20 cm long stone object was not only used as a sex toy, but also to ignite fire."*
posted by kliuless at 5:19 AM on November 16, 2019 [2 favorites]


Seeing the title, I honestly expected conversation about Sex Criminals, a comic book where the protagonists freeze time when they orgasm.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:35 AM on November 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


protagonists freeze time when they orgasm.

I mean, that doesn't not happen...
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:24 PM on November 16, 2019


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