Vibrating Bed Pioneer Dies

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The Magic Fingers vibrating beds were without a doubt the classiest motel beds of the '60s and '70s. Sure, anyone could afford a couple hours at a cheap motel, but only the big ballers could spring the extra few quarters to make their bed vibrate.  

John Joseph Houghtaling was the visionary responsible for the massaging bed. While tinkering in his New Jersey (of course) basement in 1958, he invented the device, and eventually moved the business to Miami (of course) in 1968. He served as president of the company until his retirement in the '80s. 

The beds became a fixture in motels across the country, though they often became targets of petty thieves who smashed the device for vending machine money, and what not. 

Houghtaling lived to 92, but died this week at his home in Fort Pierce. 

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


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