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20 Messed-Up Facts About History You Never Learned From Your School Books. Part 2

11. Vibrators were invented by 19th-century doctors whose hands got sore while treating “hysteria” in women.

victorian vibrators
image source: mashable.com

In 19-century, the concept of the female orgasm was vague at best. Doctors pushed various symptoms associated with sexual arousal and frustration in women under a category of illness called “hysteria” since the female orgasm was thought to be non-existent. They figured out that the cure for hysteria was to literally give the suffering women a “hand” until they reached the point of “paroxysm” and then immediate relief. In modern terms, an orgasm.  When the popularity of the treatment grew, women piled up at the doctor’s offices but there were only so many who administered the cure. By the later part of the century, electricity had entered the picture and changed everything. The vibrator came into existence in 1880, thanks to the English physician Dr. Joseph Mortimer Granville, even before the electric iron and vacuum cleaner was invented. The doctors could finally give their sore hands a time-out; the women were very happy, and the rest is history.(source)

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12. There was a Serial Killer in the US that had a $100,000 homemade torture chamber in a mobile home he called his “toy box”. Just like the “SAW” movies, he recorded himself talking to the victims explaining in detail what was going to happen to them.

Toy Box
image source: dailymail.co.uk

David Parker Ray, also known as the “Toy-Box Killer”, is suspected of killing up to 60 people in the Arizona-New Mexico area. While he lived there, he soundproofed and equipped a truck trailer with items used for torture, and murdered nearly all of his victims there. Ray’s sexual deviances developed in early teenage, as evidenced by the sadomasochistic drawings he made during those years. When he was convicted of kidnapping and torture in 2001, Ray admitted that he would regularly fantasize about raping, torturing and killing women.

After being honourably discharged from the U.S. Army (where he worked as a general mechanic), Ray presumably built his $100,0000-worth “toy box” from an old mobile home. He equipped the torture chamber with what he referred to as his “friends”: whips, pulleys, surgical blades and saws among other grotesque items. He tortured women there for years and made audio tapes that included him talking to his victims in excruciating detail about the methods he was going to use. A full-size mirror was mounted to the ceiling to enable his victims to see everything that was happening.(source)

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13. Charles II of England cheered for his nephew on his wedding night and even witnessed the entire consummation.

Charles II
image source: picpicx.com

Charles II did not acquire the moniker “Merry Charles” for no reason. In his heyday, he was rather well known for his crude humour and silly antics. When Prince William of Orange wed Clarendon’s daughter Mary in 1677, Charles II acted as a cheerleader for the couple on their wedding night by shouting, “Now, nephew, to your work!”, while the consummation was happening. Shockingly, this kind of voyeurism was mandatory back then as it was the only way to determine the legitimacy of the offspring and consequently the succession of the throne.(source)

14. Frankenstein author Mary Shelley kept her dead husband’s heart and carried it with her for almost 30 years until she died in 1851. It was found in a desk drawer a year later, wrapped in a copy of one of his final poems.

Mary Shelley
image source: mentalfloss.com

Percy Bysshe Shelley drowned on July 8, 1822, after his boat Don Juan was caught in an unfortunate storm. When he was cremated, his heart refused to burn, which physicians reasoned was due to calcification from a bout of tuberculosis. His heart was removed and the rest of the body was burned accordingly. Initially, Leigh Hunt lay claim to his friend’s heart but it was later turned over to his wife Mary Shelley. Mary shrouded the heart in a silk cloth and apparently carried it with her everywhere she went. Percy’s heart was found in her desk a year after she died, wrapped in the pages of one of his poems Adonais.(source)

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15. In medieval times, animals were put on trial and routinely sentenced to death.

animal on trial
image source: flickr.com

This bizarre practice dates back to ancient Athens and was commonly seen in 18th-century Europe. Animals could be put on trial for alleged misdeeds, but they also had the power to take their human captors to court. Livestock, locusts, rodents, flies and any other animals under the sun were liable for prosecution and even excommunication for damaging human property or lives. Legal tomes were written on the subject, like E.P.Evans’ 1906 book, The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals. These trials were treated like serious affairs, with a plethora of rules for convicting animals. Due to the ethical and legal ramifications of the subsequent times, this practice died out, but it still has radical implications on the legal rights movement for animals that is happening today.(source)

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