|1913 ad for White Cross vibrator|
A vibrator for every home!
As electricity became an in-home convenience, the vibrator became the fifth domestic appliance to be electrified and available for retail sale, after the sewing machine, fan, tea kettle and toaster.*
That's the category they were placed in: domestic appliance.
They had many suggested uses, none sexual. The White Cross Electric Vibrator (photo above) was marketed as a tool to cure "Acne, Alopecia, Asthma, Bladder, Bust Development, Change of Life, Cold, Colic, Constipation, Cramps, Deafness, Diabetes, Gout, Obesity" and more.
Can you imagine opening the pages of the Sears Roebuck catalog and seeing a full-page ad for a vibrator?
It clearly illustrates the different context for use in the early 1900's, as you can learn more about in our upcoming production of In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)!
* Want to learn more? Check out The Technology of Orgasm: "Hysteria," the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction by Rachel Maines for the full story.