New York City is no stranger to the occult or new age practices and beliefs. Samuel Weiser Books, established in 1926 on book row, is the oldest and probably the most famous occult bookstore in the United States. It moved a number of times and is no longer a retail operation. However, I did visit their shop many times in the 1970s, when they were located at 734 Broadway in the Village.
In the early 1970s, pyramid power became the rage. Claims were made about their paranormal properties - pyramids were said to preserve foods, maintain the sharpness of razor blades, improve health, function "as a thought-form incubator," trigger sexual urges, and a myriad of other effects. Models were made and sold in a variety of materials. I had one myself.
One of the seminal forces in this phenomenon, was New Yorker Max Toth, born in 1937. He a background in electroneurophysiology and was one of the first neurosurgical technicians. He built high-gain amplifiers for research purposes for neurosurgeons.
While living in Bellerose, Queens, Toth began manufacturing foldable cardboard pyramids. In 1976, the highly influential book Pyramid Power, authored by Toth, was published. An estimated 1 million copies have been sold. Other books and other pyramids were manufactured in a variety of materials, becoming a virtual mini-industry.
Frenchman Antoine Bovis, a pendulum dowser in the 1930s, originated the idea that pyramidal shapes can preserve food. Karel Drbal, a Czech radio engineer, patented a razor blade sharpening pyramid based upon the earlier paranormal experiments of Bovis.
Sheiler and Ostrander, authors of Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain Authors, published in 1970, had met Drbl and devoted a chapter of their book to pyramid power.