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'VeeDee' Mechanical vibrator, London, England, 1900-1915

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The ‘Veedee’ vibratory massager claimed to cure colds, digestive complaints and flatulence through ‘curative vibration’. It is seen here with its original box and two attachments. Instructions on the box state there was almost nothing the German-made ‘Veedee’ vibrator could not cure. The name is thought to be a pun on the Latin term, ‘Veni Vidi Vici’. This means ‘I came, I saw, I conquered’. During the late 1800s, massage was considered effective for combating almost any affliction. These ranged from headaches to female ‘hysteria’. A huge array of massage tools such as this example were advertised in magazines and newspapers.

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    Glossary: hysteria

    A nervous affection, occurring almost exclusively in women, in which the emotional and reflex excitability is exaggerated, and the will power correspondingly diminished, so that the patient loses control over the emotions, becomes the victim of imaginary sensations, and often falls into paroxism or fits.

    Glossary: physiotherapy

    Exercise helpful to those with physical illness, for example stroke, or back injuries. A physical therapist is a specialist trained in using exercise and physical activities to condition and improve muscles.

    Glossary: vibrator

    No description.