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Antique Vibrator Museum 1951-1970
From the 1950s onward, one could find ads in women's magazines for "massagers" (not "vibrators" -- they were also occasionally called "spot reducers," and were ostensibly marketed for weight reduction). Due to more open views towards sexuality, vibrators reappeared as "acceptable" home appliances in the 1960s but continued to be marketed as "beauty aids" even up until the 1970s, when they began to be marketed as sex aids.
In 1976 and 1977, Joani Blank and Down There Press published the first edition of Good Vibrations: The Complete Guide to Vibrators. Joani Blank opened the first Good Vibrations store in San Francisco, California, energizing the vibrator revolution. Vibrators continued to be advertised in the back sections of women's magazines, yet they also appeared in publications targeted towards the sexual "new woman." These devices were (and still are) marketed with sex and sensuality as the selling point, yet the fine print invariably calls them "novelties." Yes, we agree that this seems absurd, but don't worry -- we all know what they're really used for!
All photos by Violet Blue.
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