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Pillow Talk

Facts About the History of Pillows to Help You Rest Easy at Night

December 30, 2000|PAMELA DIAMOND

If your historic knowledge of pillows only goes back to the mid-'60s when the Fab Four were photographed having a staged pillow fight in the George V Hotel in Paris, then it's time you added a few more facts:

* The concept of the bed pillow is believed to date back to prehistoric times, when a pillow used to be simply a stone, a piece of wood or bundled grass.

* The first pillow was best described by Confucius five centuries before the birth of Christ: "With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow--I have still joy in the midst of these things."

* One theory has it that makura ("pillow" in Japanese) is derived from tamakura, which means resting your head on your hands.

* In 1897 Sears, Roebuck and Co. offered catalog customers 63 styles of pillows and fillings, with prices ranging from 45 cents to $6.10.

* Early Hollywood filmmakers used pillow fights on screen to stir emotions. The amount of feathers pounded from the casings depicted the degree of conflict.

* Interior designers used to be called "pillow puffers."

* The average comfort lifetime of feather pillows is 8 to 10 years, down pillows 5 to 10 years and polyester 6 months to 2 years.

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