FLIPPING HELL !!! …NO THESE ARE NOT VINTAGE HAIRDRYERS OR POWER TOOLS..BELIEVE IT OR NOT…THESE ARE ORIGINAL & CERTAINLY WELL USED … “VICTORIAN VIBRATORS ” ETC

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HERE IS A BIT OF INTERACTIVE TITILLATING  …. “TONGUE IN CHEEK” INSIGHT  INTO SOME OF OUR  INTRIGUING AND THOUGHT PROVOKING TOOLS OF THE TRADE USED ON LADIES SUFFERING FROM HYSTERIA DURING THE VICTORIAN ERA THAT ARE ON DISPLAY AT THE JAIL … IN AND AMONGST OUR VERY CLUTTERED, DIVERSE CURIOSITIES AND OTHER COLLECTIONS

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Female hysteria was a once-common medical diagnosis, made exclusively in women, which is today no longer recognized by medical authorities as a medical disorder. Its diagnosis and treatment were routine for many hundreds of years in Western Europe. Hysteria was widely discussed in the medical literature of the 19th century. Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms, including faintness, nervousness, sexual desire, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in the abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”. In extreme cases, the woman would be forced into the asylum and undergo surgical hysterectomy.

 

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Are these power tools? Medieval torture devices? Ancient hairdryers? Vintage egg whisks? No, they are Victorian, er, personal massagers (including one you had to handcrank)

  • Late 19th, early 20th century self-vibrators on display in Gloucestershire
  • Were originally created by Victorian doctors to cure women of hysteria
  • Female patients were treated with ‘pelvic massage’ using plug-in vibrators
  • On display at Littledean Jail, former courthouse, in the Forest of Dean

Take a look at these pictures and consider for a moment what these rather brutal looking metal contraptions might be.

Are they power tools? Medieval torture devices? The world’s first hairdryers? Archaic egg whisks? Nope, these are actually Victorian vibrators, a collection of vintage self-massagers currently on display at Littledean Jail in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, a former house of correction, police station and courthouse-turned-visitor attraction.

And exhibits include Dr Macaura’s Pulsocon Hand Crank Vibrator, which dates back to 1890 and resembles an old-fashioned egg whisk.

This may look like an early hair dryer with different attachments, but it is actually a vintage 'self-massager', used by women as a vibrator in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

This may look like an early hair dryer with different attachments, but it is actually a vintage ‘self-massager’, used by women as a vibrator in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

Dr. Macaura's Pulsocon Hand Crank (1890) Vibrator, which resembles an archaic egg whisk, is now on display at Littledean Jail, Forest of Dean,

Dr. Macaura’s Pulsocon Hand Crank (1890) Vibrator, which resembles an archaic egg whisk, is now on display at Littledean Jail, Forest of Dean,

According to Philip Larkin, sex began in 1963, between the end of the Lady Chatterley ban and the Beatles’ first LP.

But this collection of Victorian vibrators shows self-pleasuring has been going on for a whole lot longer than that.

Littledean Jail owner and curator Andy Jones, 51, described the assortment of sex toys as ‘a fascinating insight into women’s pleasure during Victorian times’.

The 'ACME' hand-held vibrator shows self-pleasuring has been going on for a whole lot longer than we originally believed

The ‘ACME’ hand-held vibrator shows self-pleasuring has been going on for a whole lot longer than we originally believed

When compared to today's vibrators such as the pink plastic rampant rabbit, the ACME is certainly a lot less... girly

When compared to today’s vibrators such as the pink plastic rampant rabbit, the ACME is certainly a lot less… girly

But despite its pleasurable connotations, the modern-style vibrator was actually invented by respectable Victorian doctors.

‘Pelvic massage’ was a common treatment for female hysteria during the Victorian era.

However, doctors found the process of administering the massage by hand tiring and time-consuming, and so devised a device to do the job for them.

Dr Joseph Mortimer Granville patented an electromechanical vibrator around 1880, a story told in the 2011 film Hysteria, featuring Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Despite its pleasurable connotations, the modern-style vibrator was actually invented by respectable Victorian doctors

Despite its pleasurable connotations, the modern-style vibrator was actually invented by respectable Victorian doctors

'If you plug them in, the force is incredible. They're loud and some of them look like hairdryers'

‘If you plug them in, the force is incredible. They’re loud and some of them look like hairdryers’

The vibrators come packed neatly in cases with a number of different attachments, and resembles an old-fashioned drill and its bits

The vibrators come packed neatly in cases with a number of different attachments, and resembles an old-fashioned drill and its bits

While some of these contraptions now look like they belong more in a torture chamber than beneath the sheets, they serve as testament to the ingenuity of Victorian inventors.

The sex toys also offer a fascinating insight into the supposedly ‘prim and proper’ Victorian world, in which some families would supposedly cover up table legs since they were seen as suggestive and risque.

‘If you plug them in, the force is incredible,’ Jones said. ‘They’re loud and some of them look like hairdryers.

‘I would imagine it would have been quite a painful exercise, judging by what I’ve seen of them, like having a kango hammer pressed against your body.’

ELEPHANT MAN – Joseph Carey Merrick (5 August 1862 – 11 April 1890), sometimes incorrectly referred to as John Merrick

HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL ALONGSIDE OUR OWN FREAKS OF NATURE EXHIBITS, WE BRIEFLY TOUCH UPON THE HISTORY OF THE ELEPHANT MAN – JOSEPH (JOHN)  MERRICK  AND ALSO THE BRILLIANT AND WELL WORTH WATCHING (IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN IT ALREADY  )  … 1980 FILM – THE ELEPHANT MAN…. STARRING JOHN HURT AS JOSEPH MERRICK AND ANTHONY HOPKINS AS FREDERICK TREVES …..

HERE BELOW IS SOME VARIOUS INTERACTIVE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND ON BOTH THE HISTORY OF THE ELEPHANT MAN AND ALSO THE CLASSIC FILM

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ABOVE IS THE OFFICIAL TRAILER FOR THE 1980 FILM – THE ELEPHANT MAN

BELOW IS THE HAUNTING SOUNDTRACK THEME FOR THE FILM TOO

Joseph Carey Merrick (5 August 1862 – 11 April 1890), sometimes incorrectly referred to as John Merrick, was an English man with severe deformities who was exhibited as a human curiosity named the Elephant Man. He became well known in London society after he went to live at the London Hospital. Merrick was born in LeicesterLeicestershire and began to develop abnormally during the first few years of his life. His skin appeared thick and lumpy, he developed an enlargement of his lips, and a bony lump grew on his forehead. One of his arms and both feet became enlarged and at some point during his childhood he fell and damaged his hip, resulting in permanent lameness. When he was 11, his mother died and his father soon remarried. Merrick left school at 13, and had difficulty finding employment. Rejected by his father and stepmother, he left home. In late 1879, aged 17, Merrick entered the Leicester Union Workhouse.

In 1884, after four years in the workhouse, Merrick contacted a showman named Sam Torr and proposed that Torr should exhibit him. Torr agreed, and arranged for a group of men to manage Merrick, whom they named the Elephant Man. After touring the East Midlands, Merrick travelled to London to be exhibited in a penny gaff shop on Whitechapel Road which was rented by showman Tom Norman. Norman’s shop, directly across the street from the London Hospital, was visited by a surgeon named Frederick Treves, who invited Merrick to be examined and photographed. Soon after Merrick’s visits to the hospital, Tom Norman’s shop was closed by the police and Merrick’s managers sent him to tour in Europe.

In Belgium, Merrick was robbed by his road manager and abandoned in Brussels. He eventually made his way back to London; unable to communicate, he was found by the police to have Frederick Treves’ card on him. Treves came and took Merrick back to the London Hospital. Although his condition was incurable, Merrick was allowed to stay at the hospital for the remainder of his life. Treves visited him daily and the pair developed quite a close friendship. Merrick also received visits from the wealthy ladies and gentlemen of London society, including Alexandra, Princess of Wales.

Merrick died on 11 April 1890, aged 27. The official cause of death was asphyxia, although Treves, who dissected the body, said that Merrick had died of a dislocated neck. He believed that Merrick—who had to sleep sitting up because of the weight of his head—had been attempting to sleep lying down, to “be like other people”. The exact cause of Merrick’s deformities is unclear. The dominant theory throughout much of the 20th century was that Merrick suffered from neurofibromatosis type I. In 1986, a new theory emerged that he had Proteus syndrome. In 2001 it was proposed that Merrick had suffered from a combination of neurofibromatosis type I and Proteus syndrome. DNA tests conducted on his hair and bones have proven inconclusive.

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BELOW IS SOME VIDEO FOOTAGE OF SOME OF JOSEPH MERRICK’S PERSONAL ITEMS TO INCLUDE HIS HOOD AND CAP AS WAS WORN BY HIM TO SHIELD HIS ADNORMALITIES FROM THE PUBLIC .

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