Antique Vibrator Museum 1951-1970 > How To Articles > Vibrators > Antique Vibrator Museum

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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!

Sears Massager, c. 1950 Chic Glorifier, c. 1950

"Sears Massager", Model 793.2201, Sears, Roebuck & Co., circa 1950

"Chic Glorifier", Morris Struhl, Inc., circa 1950

Model E Home Vibrator, c. 1955 Niagra Cyclo Massage, c. 1960

"Model E Home Vibrator", Wahl Clipper Corp., circa 1955

"Niagara Cyclo Massage", circa 1960

Hollywood Vibratone, c. 1960 Hollywood Vibratone (detail)

"Hollywood Vibra-Tone", Fischer, circa 1960


Twin Deluxe Foot Massager, c. 1960 Vanguard, c. 1962

"Twin Deluxe Foot Massager", Standard Products Corp., circa 1960

"Vanguard", circa 1962

Lady Norelco Home Beauty Salon, c. 1970 Lady Norelco (detail)

"Lady Norelco Home Beauty Salon", North American Philips Corp., circa 1970


Fighter, Model F-10H, c. 1970 Fighter (detail)

"Fighter", Model F-10H, Teranishi Electric Works Ltd., circa 1970


Norelco Massager, c. 1970 Norelco Massager (detail)

"Norelco Massager", circa 1970

long view

All photos by Violet Blue.