by Paula Bosse
The Comfort Furniture Co. in Detroit manufactured a line of “refreshingly novel” furniture which was, as their ads said “comfortable, restful, sanitary, artistic” and “indestructible.” The company incorporated in Detroit at the end of 1904 and the only ads I’ve found have been from 1905 (the year in which they exhibited at the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland, Oregon).
The man reclining on the trimmed-in-fringe vibrating couch below does not look particularly comfortable — in fact, he looks as if some of that electricity might have been shooting through him when the photo was snapped. This small card was, presumably, given away at the Comfort Furniture booth at the Lewis and Clark Centennial. The caption reads, “Showing position of Comfort Vibrating Couch with person of average weight.”
The back of the card: “Manufactured by The Comfort Furniture Company, 225-229 Beecher Ave., Detroit, Mich. Send for catalogue and prices.”
It continued: “148 E. St. Cor. 7th. Varied Industries Building is where you saw the COMFORT VIBRATING FURNITURE that was so ARTISTIC, INDESTRUCTIBLE and COMFORTABLE.”
Below is an ad that appeared in the Lewis and Clark Centennial guide (1905). I hadn’t noticed the fringe in the above photo until I saw this ad. So, like a hospital bed. With fringe.
Another ad from 1905. Everything from children’s beds to furniture for Turkish baths.
Also from 1905:
A notice of incorporation appeared in the Dec. 28, 1904 edition of the Detroit Free-Press.
A mini article/lengthy blurb about the company appeared in the Dec. 1904 issue of The Furniture Journal:
The fate of Detroit’s pulsating furniture is unknown.
Sources & Notes
Top image is from a Comfort Furniture Company business card (collection of the author).
Electricity as a therapeutic miracle-cure was all the rage when this vibrating couch appeared. I’ve written about a couple of other unusual electricity-powered therapies in my Dallas-history blog:
- “‘Electricity in Every Form’ — 1909”
- “Zap Those Extra Pounds Away in Mrs. Rodgers’ Electric Chair — 1921”
Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.