Gas-Powered Vibrator Finds Home in Good Vibes' Antique Sex Toy Museum

Instructions on the inside lid of the Detwiller Vibrator's case

Most curators in San Francisco's arts community have degrees in disciplines such as paintings or textiles, but Carol Queen is the first sexologist/curator I've encountered. Queen started working at Good Vibrations while completing a doctorate in human sexuality; she stayed on with the company to be not only its staff sexologist but also the curator of the store's Antique Vibrator Museum.

The acquisition budget is tied to fortunes of the company, which were in good shape when Queen recently spotted an antique Detwiller Vibrator on eBay. The vibrator, patented in 1906, was secured with a bid of $204.29. While the museum has a vast collection of vibrators from the late 1800s through the 1970s, this is the first pneumatic vibrator Queen has found.

“The literature on antique vibrators covered steam, electric motor, and hand-crank types,” she says, “but when you think of gas powered items, tools come to mind, not body-care objects.”

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