Watling | Vibratory Doctor
The ‘Vibratory Doctor’ is a staggering machine with an overwhelming presence, making it easily one of the most popular penny arcade machines. It is one of the more rare machines with possibly only one or two known original machines in existence, plus one stand-alone original bust casting.
It is possible that Watling manufactured the Vibratory Doctor in response to the pre-1904 Electric Shock machines. Below the bust casting are the words, ‘Not Electric. Try it! It is Pleasant!’ The dial in the center reads,
‘The Doctor will put new life into you. Vibration is the law of life. Do not fail to take this treatment DAILY. The more vibration you take, the stronger you will grow. Other doctors charge from two to five dollars for Vibration. This doctor charges ONE CENT ONLY’.
This sales pitch intended to dupe the player into thinking that the machine’s 15-second vibrations would have beneficial powers. The machine was also marketed as preferential to the electric shock machines of the time.
This machine is tall, clunky and loud! As the motor turns on, the lights dim and the handle begins to rattle producing a small soothing vibration. The large-bodied upper torso casting was used to represent the possible corporeal benefits of using the machine, aiming to convince the user that he too could have a similar body. Pictorial instructions are placed by the side of the figure to illustrate how to use the machine for neck, back, and other treatments.
This massive penny-grabber is one of the most desired and sought after penny arcade machines ever built.
Read more in No Tampering! A Guide to Papa's Re-creations.
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