Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The problem with having talking chairs in hotel rooms

Let's take a quick trip back 55 years to August 1953. An article in that month's Mechanix Illustrated highlights ill-fated inventions, such as talking hotel chairs, which were giving a whirl at the Hotel Edison in Midtown. The concept: When a person eased himself into the chair, his weight would actuate a lever that would start a record playing. When he got up, it would stop. Irwin Kramer, vice president of the Hotel Edison, said of the chairs, “It would be a direct means of advertising. When a guest came into his room and sat down, we thought he’d be pleased to hear something like 'welcome to the Hotel Edison,' and a description of some of our features. We thought it would be quite a novelty.” Right! According to the article, "A pretty girl came in, plumped herself wearily into the chair and the monologue started. She leaped up, peered into the closet and under the bed, then ran screaming into the hall. 'There’s a man in my room,' she gasped. The management had to quiet her." Soon after, the hotel removed the chairs.

Previously on EV Grieve:
At the Hotel Edison: An appreciation

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