I say "remember" because these funny pillows used to be quite popular. As a teenager in the late 1980s, they were really rather de rigueur. Of course, the idea was that they provided the proper amount of back support while one was studying, reading Herodotus or Homer, and, for some of us, devouring a Judith Krantz novel in bed.
I had one that was actually pretty cute. It was white linen with embroidery on it and it went quite well with my Colefax & Fowler chintz curtains and Ralph Lauren wicker bed. (Remember how popular those Ralph Lauren wicker beds used to be??)
via Bed Bath and Beyond
Some people refer to them as bedrest pillows, but the more popular term is "husband" or "boyfriend" pillow. As a 17 year old, I didn't call my pillow my husband because that sounded ridiculous. Actually, I didn't call it a boyfriend either, although at the time, the closest I came to a boyfriend was that darn linen pillow. And now you know why I was home at night reading "Princess Daisy".
Sometimes I think about how great it would be to have one of these pillows again because how perfect would it be for blogging in bed? But then I snap out of my reverie because quite frankly, I don't like how a husband would look on my bed. (You can read what you want to in that last statement.)
But lest we think these pillows are tacky, we should remember that Elsie de Wolfe was a fan of them. There she is, below, at her home After All in 1950. It looks as though she and Blu Blu were getting ready to play a round of cards in bed. Study the photo closely and you'll see Elsie's pillow covered in a floral fabric.
In fact, Elsie was a big fan of them. So much so that she sold "Elsie de Wolfe's ingenious BED REST" and even had a patent pending on them in 1934. They were covered in twill sateen (cream with brown piping and tufting) and had pockets on the arm rests. Elsie's husband was obviously very chic. I don't know about you, but if someone made something comparable, you just might see one on my bed someday soon.
(Image of de Wolfe in bed: Tony Duquette by Wendy Goodman. de Wolfe advertisement from House Beautiful, March 1934.)