4

Vibrating Bed Pioneer Dies

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

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. 

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

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

 

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