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The Bed Migration of 1917

The Bed Migration of 1917 was a severe worldwide phenomenon and its appearance has only been documented in history once. The timing of the migration varied across the world, though most conclude that it began on September 21, 1917 and lasted through September 27, 1917. Around the world men, women, and children came home to see their beloved beds had disappeared. At first this was believed to be a hoax, cooked up by none other than Charlie Chaplin himself.[1] Though this was ruled out due to the fact that there was no place for Charlie Chaplin to hide all of the mattresses. The public raised up in outrage, running on the stores, in all 1538 people were killed in the run on the stores as well as a chinchilla, all previous mattress supply stores had to close their doors. For they suffered from the loss of the mattresses, and would never open their doors again.

           It appeared the mattresses migrated south; few were able to wrangle straggling mattresses coming from Canada and Alaska. It is said that a mattress was sold for $500,000 on the black-market.[2] Upon September 27, 1917 the mattresses migrated back, some came back enhanced, some torn, others shredded, and some did not make it back at all. But the damage was already done, work rate had decreased by a staggering 98% by September 26th and most employers closed their doors until October 1, 1917 as to allow for workers to recover from the traumatic event.[3]

This event brought a revolution to the mattress industry; Suppliers such as Sleeptrain, tempurpedic, and mattress discounters opened their stores in the proceeding weeks of the aftermath. Though it took them a while to build the bunkers under the stores in which they store their mattresses.

It is rumored the mattresses migrated to the Aztec temple in present day Mexico City. [4]





Christopher McNally




[1] Wilson, Woodrow. Interview with NBC News, Live talkshow. September 22,1917 [2] Federal Bureau of Investigation, The Black-Market Affect of Mattresses.

[3] Clifford, Jones. “The Reproductions of the Mattress fallout” New York Times March 17, 1921, B1 [4] Montezume the second, Personal Inteview, 1922

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