For centuries, doctors had been treating women for a wide variety of illnesses by performing what is now recognized as masturbation. The "pelvic massage" was especially common in the treatment of female hysteria in Great Britain during the Victorian Era, as the point of such manipulation was to cause "hysterical paroxysm" (orgasm) in the patient. However, not only did they regard the "vulvar stimulation" required as having nothing to do with sex, but reportedly found it time-consuming and hard work.
One of the first vibrators was called the 'Tremoussoir' invented in France during 1734. The first steam-powered vibrator was called the "Manipulator", which was invented by American physician George Taylor in 1869. This machine was a rather awkward device, but was still heralded as some relief for the doctors who found themselves suffering from fatigued wrists and hands. Around 1880, Dr. Joseph Mortimer Granville patented an electromechanical vibrator. The historical fiction film Hysteria features a reworked history of the vibrator focusing on Dr. Granville's invention.