Re: And they sold them at Sears and Roebuck!

1

I don't get the jellyfish.

Someone explain the jellyfish to me.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12- 8-08 8:52 PM
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2

Vaginas are full of nematocysts. didn't you know?


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12- 8-08 8:58 PM
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3

It seems to me that happy endings are a better form of therapy than most of the others, especially the therapies from back a century or more ago.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 8-08 9:01 PM
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4

Sold by Sears and Roebuck, designed by Fulton and Watt(NSFW)


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 12- 8-08 9:05 PM
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5

Whoa. The robot Maria from Metropolis at the end is a kind of odd choice.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 8-08 9:12 PM
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6

Bah, I know I linked that here and I can't believe I'm not finding it in the archives. Everybody believe me that I pwned Heebie!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 8-08 9:20 PM
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Well, darn it. While searching for "steampunk dildo", I discovered that somebody else already made the BoingBoing parody I've been thinking of.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 8-08 11:48 PM
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8

This is just like that time Wendy's stole your Baconator idea.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 8-08 11:55 PM
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8: it's not that bad. It's about like the time somebody made "White Stuff People Like" before I could.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 8-08 11:56 PM
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10

I believe you, Witt.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 8-08 11:58 PM
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11

4. wtf is up with that text? the top is cut off, so we are introduced at "the erection itself, measuring 26 feet from base to glans..."

in the next paragraph, I love that the steam-powered dildo (safe!) is described as "heavy-duty".


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 1:13 AM
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I think it is a blurb about an installation art piece.

If it ever was erected, I think Christo has a duty to wrap it as both art and PSA.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 1:16 AM
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13

To the artist: Ok, we get it. You like penis. Now, put it away.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 1:25 AM
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14

I hope (and suspect) they use the work of Rachel Maines, who had a wonderful article on the old electromechanical ones in the IEEE journal back in 1989, "Socially camouflaged technologies: the case of the electromechanical vibrator". (And I see she now has a book The Technology of Orgasm: "Hysteria," the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction.)

The paper covered both the Sears catalog stuff and the mechanical stuff used at clinics such as the one described/spoofed in The Road to Wellville (I think Kellogg—yes, the corn flake guy—who ran the clinic, was specifically mentioned in the article). A tidbit from the abstract describing her thesis that the advent of pron flicks blew up the "camouflage:

Manual massage was fatiguing and slow, however, and water and steam-powered methods capital-intensive; when portable vibrators powered by line electricity became available at the turn of the century they quickly became dominant medical massage technology until the appearance of vibrators in erotic films in the 1920s eroded the instrument's social camouflage.

The IEEE Journal was a great place to publish it as attested to by the series of outraged letters that appeared in the following issues.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 6:17 AM
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A nugget from the article regarding the general use of "release" to treat hysteria.

"God-fearing physicians," as Zacuto expressed it in the seventeenth century, were expected to induce the paroxysm with their own fingers only when absolutely necessary, as in the case of very young single women, widows and nuns.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 6:23 AM
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16

John is absolutely right in 3. The idea that an attractive young doctor could masturbate you to orgasm if you are feeling stressed out is very appealing. The fact that the doctor would do it with a detached, clinical air and then lecture you about the need to exercise afterward only makes it more hawt.

They should bring it back, and offer it for guys, too.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 6:51 AM
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"Twenty years of schooling and I'm doing this?"

Perhaps there would be specially trained happy ending techs, with a junior college program and licensing test.

You'd also have to monitor doctors who overprescribe, or who divert treatments intended for their patients to themselves.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:13 AM
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"Miss Heffelfinger, Mr. Jones didn't show up for his appointment. We don't want you t end up wasting your time....."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:16 AM
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19

There was a BBC documentary about the Masters and Johnson research program that featured white-coated young docs doing exactly that ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:25 AM
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It was never accepted as a standard therapy, apparently.

I can just imagine a doctor explaining that of course his Alzheimers patients never remember their happy-ending therapy afterwards.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:29 AM
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The idea that an attractive young doctor could masturbate you to orgasm if you are feeling stressed out is very appealing. The fact that the doctor would do it with a detached, clinical air and then lecture you about the need to exercise afterward only makes it more hawt.

The nurse is going to do 90 percent of the job and the doctor will come in at the last moment and claim credit for the ending.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:29 AM
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22

God's sakes you Americans, don't you have enough of a problem already with people overconsuming healthcare services? If happy endings are to be provided, it should be through the NHS, strictly rationed and with a 6 month waiting list.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:42 AM
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23

19: that wasn't a documentary


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:45 AM
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re: 23

Nowadays [it was broadcast about 8 or 9 year ago] it'd be subject to Ross-Brand levels of opprobrium and questions would be asked in 'the House'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:54 AM
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25

I MAKE HOUSE CALLS LAYDEEZ


Posted by: OPINIONATED DR. FEELGOOD | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:55 AM
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26

||
This kinda makes me wish I was a woman. And rich.
|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:02 AM
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Ah, turns out that the film is indeed based on the Rachel Maines book noted above ("Now Playing: When Your Book Becomes a Film" at the Organization of American Historians website).

Some more on getting anything published in this area:

The auspices were not promising: three different versions of an article based on the research were rejected by the leading journal in my subdiscipline, and in 1989 the Technical Advisory Board of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) threatened to withdraw the charter of its publication Technology & Society, for having published my "Socially Camouflaged Technologies: the Case of the Electromechanical Vibrator." In 1996, when I finally had a complete book manuscript, the first university press to which I submitted it returned it within days, along with a letter asserting that it would be at least another ten years before the work was publishable. And even then, they wouldn't be interested.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:29 AM
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19: Where *has* all this censoriousness and Tugendterror come from since the 90s? It's getting like the fucking USA in here. James Purnell wants YouTube to put warnings on anything with FOUL LANGUAGE in it. Good Christ, I can get on forty usenet groups in as many seconds that his fucking poxy-server wouldn't even see and would make foul language look like basket-weaving.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:48 AM
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26: Christmas present for R? You probably wouldn't have to sell more than one of the kids to get the money for it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:51 AM
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re: 28

It's the victory of the fucking petit bourgeoisie.

Blair and Dacre and all their fucking hangers on. Jesus, I hate those people.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:51 AM
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29: If apo's not man enough to steal it, then he doesn't deserve it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:55 AM
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If Apo's not man enough to try it on, and then walk out of the store under the pretense that he was wearing it when he came in, he doesn't deserve it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:57 AM
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33

That's fucking funny.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:59 AM
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34

If you were a woman, apo, you'd get the gown, and then every day you'd look at it in your closet, wonder where you could possibly wear it, and gradually come to feel bitterness and hatred towards it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:00 AM
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26 is not off-topic at all: clearly this is what one wears while receiving manual or steam-powered release therapy from an attractive young 19th-century physician. Muttonchops optional.


Posted by: Marichiweu | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:00 AM
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36

If I were a woman and owned that gown, I'd wear it any damn time I felt like it. To work, to the movies, wherever. No one could object.

How much is that thing? I didn't see a price attached.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:04 AM
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37

36: Christ, has Jane's Addiction taught you nothing?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:07 AM
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38

Hmmm, who was it looking for needlework information here recently?

Rachel Maines, a scholar who in 1977 stumbled upon turn-of-the-century ads for the device while researching needlework patterns.

And more on her interaction with the IEEE (whose membership is probably the most undersexed demographic in the world).

The magazine's technical advisory board insisted that "Socially Camouflaged Technologies: The Case of the Electromechanical Vibrator" was a hoax perpetrated by the editors of the journal as a parody of a typical IEEE offering, replete with "dozens and dozens of obsolete references."
"They did a full-scale investigation," said Maines, now a visiting scholar at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. "I had to prove that I existed and I had to give them a Social Security number. My husband called it the attack of the dweebs."

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:08 AM
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34: Hey, I own that dress. But it was pretty cheap, so I don't loathe it that much.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:11 AM
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40

For my wedding dress, I decided I'm wearing one of those dresses. I've had it for years and only worn it once, and I love it very much.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:13 AM
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41

Also it's a little stretchy! Because I don't really know what size I'll be.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:14 AM
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42

(I was actually worrying about 41. But am now reassured.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:16 AM
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43

I own a LOT of those dresses, and just purchased at Goodwill another two. I really really want to wear the one with little pineapples all over it soon.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:16 AM
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44

I'm thoroughly confused.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:18 AM
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45

University presses are calling things "unpublishable"? I'm flabbergasted.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:19 AM
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46

Dude, the Goodwill near me stinks--kind of literally.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:19 AM
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47

The Goodwills down here are run extraordinarily well.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:21 AM
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There's a pretty clean, decently run Goodwill just around the corner from my place. Dangerous!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:27 AM
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40: Oh, heebie. Not even the Church can make an honest man out of Jammies.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:29 AM
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University presses specialize in "unreadable".

Heebie, do you need a ring bear for your wedding?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:37 AM
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38: I've been to telecoms industry conferences that were a lot like that story. About sixty per cent of the delegates would have fainted at the very idea (hell, a nontrivial proportion wouldn't have got past the idea of "woman"). Except for the BigVendor regional sales directors, who are all so steeped in corruption and sleaze up to their eyeballs they probably keep a 1921 Orenstein und Koppel 6hp hydro-dingus in their briefcases because it impresses the hookers.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:53 AM
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Lake Wobegon just hosted ice sailing's Great Western Challenge Regatta. This is a national-international event -- they scout the best ice and choose the best ice at the last minute.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 10:02 AM
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53

16 ff.: Obama's Stimulus Package: Anything For Social Services?


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 11:28 AM
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Other than "people who had fallen off very high things" and "convicts being used as unwilling participants in manned rocketry experiments in ancient China", ice sailors were probably the fastest human beings in history up to the mid-nineteenth century.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 11:40 AM
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55

Is there any possibility that the powers that be would continue the oggedian practice of putting older youtube posts below the fold?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:23 PM
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BTW, there's a case with what I've always taken to be an antique hairdryer sitting in our basement, a relic of the 98-y.o. woman from whose estate we bought this house. Watching that clip, I think I need to take another look at that piece of equipment.

*shudder*


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 4:51 PM
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57

Start a steampunk vibrator club.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 4:59 PM
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The steam punk vibrators remind me of Victorian era photo porn. Our ancestors were way different from us, until one is confronted by the evidence.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 5:37 PM
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58: The past is a foreign land. Now how did they get my anal beads?


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 6:29 PM
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