Mother Jones posted this excellent timeline history of female hysteria and the, ahem, interesting contraptions used to treat it.
Personally, I would love to have a Vigor’s Horse-Action Saddle at home to help, uh, prevent stagnation of the liver. (It is, after all, endorsed by no other than the Princess of Wales!)
(Thanks to Phineas for the tip!)
(On having sex while pregnant)
“Why should not the child of a merry young mother be as lively and strong in all his bodily movements as she? Not only because the energetic mother will play and romp with him later on. Oh no! Long before birth, whilst they both belong so intimately to each other, every little step, every abrupt movement of the mother’s finds its echo in the body and soul of the little child; so why should not her sexual impulses and movements also have their influence?
In the later months of pregnancy the child will produce a lively local massage with his own energetic movements; for the better development of his own little body, and to prepare the mother for her most trying moment. And who is not reminded by this, of the often marvellous cures of Thure-Brandt massage of the internal organs?
—How to Attain and Practice the Ideal Sex Life
Um, I have no problem with a pregnant lady getting it on, but does the author need to make it so . . . ishy?
And I’m fairly sure that Thure-Brandt massage is the type of internal massage as seen in The Road to Wellville–that is, it induced orgasms in women.
Yeah, I’m going to walk away from this one.