Original Backnobber® Donated to The Smithsonian Institution

Tamara Klisaric @ 2020-07-30 23:16:54 -0400

Original Backnobber® Donated toThe Smithsonian Institution

July 29, 2009


On March 9 1985, the Pottstown Mercury of Pottstown Pennsylvania reported that the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC had requested a sample of The Original Backnobber®, a product of The Pressure Positive Company.


The article in the Mercury went on to state:

Bernard L. Gladieux, Jr, President of The Pressure Positive Company announced that the museum asked the company for a sample of its product, The Original Backnobber® for its exhibit on medical science and modern medical techniques used to treat pain.

The Original Backnobber® was developed by Gladieux as a device anyone can use to reduce common, chronic muscular pain in the neck, shoulders and back.

The Backnobber® is shaped like a large letter “S.”  This model of the Backnobber®, an earlier version of the now popular Backnobber® II, is hand made out of bar steel with hardwood balls or knobs cemented on to the ends of the “S.”   The Backnobber® is designed to be looped over the shoulder or under the arm with one of the Knobs pressed into the muscles of the back.

Gladieux reports, “When I spoke to the Smithsonian’s curator of medical science and explained how the Backnobber® works, she showed an immediate interest.  Of course we are delighted the Smithsonian has shown such an interest, but it seems entirely appropriate since The Original Backnobber® is, after all, an authentic American Original, conceived, created and produced right here in the United States.”

“The effect of using the Backnobber®,” Gladieux says “is much like the effect you would get if you could walk around behind yourself and massage your own back.  Certainly it is better if you have someone skilled in deep muscle massage techniques, but few of us have that someone who is ready, willing and able at the time of need.”

Gladieux stated that no one is yet quite sure why the intense pressure on the muscles seems to relax tension and pain.  He makes no claims that the Backnobber® will cure the underlying causes of pain but adds that most back pain is muscular and can be alleviated using simple, deep pressure on trigger points, as well as regular exercising and stretching.

The Backnobber® is highly cost effective, non intrusive, drug free, and it is guaranteed, but, Gladieux cautions, it is no substitute for proper medical care when indicated.

Finally, Gladieux  reports that the Smithsonian request arrived at the Company’s rural headquarters in rural, eastern Pennsylvania, nearly twenty five years ago and that he has no way of knowing how long it or even if it was displayed in the medical science exhibit in the national Smithsonian Institution museum in Washington D.C.  “But,”  Gladieux states, ” I have always been gratified that our simple Backnobber® is part of this national collection of historic artifacts.”


Photo by Sara Cottle on Unsplash