I recently read an article about the film Hysteria, and it got me thinking. Why isn't there much Steampunk fiction about 'female hysteria' and vibrators and such? Perhaps because society has grown beyond that phase, and it might be seen as sexist. Still, I think there are at least a few humorous short stories worth of material available to an author thinking about the early days of the vibrator.
The movie Hysteria is about the invention of the first electric vibrator in 1880 (which, incidentally means it was the fifth household appliance to be electrified, after the sewing machine, fan, tea-kettle and toaster, but before the vacuum cleaner and electric iron). Hand-cranked, spring-wound and yes, steam-powered vibrators had been around for decades however, although I've been unable to locate any pictures (if you find some, please let me know, I'd love to see what a steam vibrator looks like!).
If you're ever in San Fancisco, be sure to stop by the Good Vibrations’ Antique Vibrator Museum for more vibrator history.