"A woman from Holland came in the store recently and said that a distant relative built a farmhouse in the early 1800's which included a room that had a closet which stored a bed in a verticle position." She couldn't remember how it went up and down, but did sleep in it as a little girl."
From the Website of the Murphy Bed Family of New York
|he adage that "necessity is the mother of invention" clearly holds true in the invention of the Murphy Bed.
William L. Murphy, who was born in Columbia, California, near Stockton on January 1, 1876, moved to San Francisco at the turn of the century where he met his future wife. He lived in a one-room apartment that had a standard bed taking up most of the floor space. Because he wanted to entertain, he began experimenting with a folding bed, and applied for his first patent around 1900.
The "Murphy Wall Bed Company" of California came into being that year, making it one of the oldest furniture companies in America with nearly a century of continuous manufacturing and marketing.
The first of the folding beds were manufactured in San Francisco. In 1918, William Murphy invented the pivot bed that pivoted on a doorjamb of a dressing closet, and then lowered into a sleeping position - some of which are still in use today.
During the 1920's and 1930's, the popularity of the Murphy Bed was at its peak and in 1925 the company moved its corporate headquarters to New York City and became the Murphy Door Bed Company, Inc. Production was limited during World War II to replacement parts due to rationing of steel. After the war, production remained low because the returning GIs were offered low cost VA mortgages and single family homes began springing up all over the country. Individual homeowners were not interested in space saving products in this era because of their ability to buy larger homes relatively easy. In the 50's and 60's, the beds were sold primarily as a specialty item for builders. William K. Murphy, son of the founder, took over as president after serving in World War II and Korea. In the 70's this attitude changed dramatically. The recession, the oil embargoes and high interest rates fused together to change America's lifestyles, focusing attention once more on the problem which William L. Murphy wrestled with in 1900 - how to make the most of limited space.
The wall bed business again grew as families found it too costly to move to larger homes. During the 80's and 90's, sales continued to grow with the introduction of a full line of ready to assemble cabinetry and wall units changing the Murphy Bed from a built-in to a piece of furniture. Today, Clark W. Murphy, grandson of the founder, is president and has been since 1983.
Since the original wall bed in 1900, the Murphy Bed Company has taken innovative steps to improve the beds with models which include the patented counter-balancing design. This patented design gave the bed mechanisms dependability and ease of operation. The beds, which have mattress supports built into them, will accommodate a standard mattress in twin, double, queen and king sizes.
History of fold away beds from Wikipedia - The Internet Encyclopedia
A Murphy bed (sometimes known as a wallbed, or fold away bed) is a bed that flips up at the head end for vertical storage inside a closet or cabinet. To achieve this, the mattress is attached to the bed frame, often with a bolt at each corner. Murphy beds are used for space-saving purposes, much like a trundle bed is. Due to space limitations, most Murphy beds do not have box springs. Instead, the mattress usually lies on wire mesh. Most Murphy beds are also not equipped with headboards, footboards or bed rails.
While less frequently used in today's homes, Murphy beds can still be found in areas with limited square footage, such as mobile homes and apartments. Since the late 1900s, Murphy Beds have been incorporated into modular cabinetry with glass, mirrors, lighting, or additional units for entertainment storage or computer centers.
On the most well-known style of Murphy bed, the head end is permanently mounted inside a large closet located in the wall of a bedroom or living room. This type of Murphy bed (and its closet) is usually concealed behind a pair of closet doors. In some cases where construction budgets were tight, there are no doors. Instead, the bottom of the bed is a solid panel. When folded up, this solid panel appears to be part of the wall.
Less typical variations of Murphy beds included one type that was mounted on a swing arm. This arm pivoted the bed between room and closet. On another type, the head end was on casters. This allowed the bed to be stored in any large closet and rolled into any room for use. In many cases, the closet where the Murphy bed was stored doubled as a standard clothes closet.
A similar type of bed is the hideaway bed, first patented in 1885 by Sarah E. Goode. A hideaway bed also folds up when not in use, but is not concealed behind a wall or closet, instead serving double use as a shelf or desk.
Murphy Family History
William L. Murphy applied for a patent for the Murphy bed on April 1, 1916 and was granted Design Patent D49,273 on June 27, 1916. Murphy started the Murphy Wall Bed Company and began production in San Francisco. In January 1990 the company changed its name to the "Murphy Bed Co. Inc."
These beds make appearances in movies, as they lend themselves to slapstick humor in which people are trapped when the bed folds into the upright position, carrying the person on the bed inside. For example, in Stanley Kramer's comedy It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, the smarmy Otto Meyer (Phil Silvers) gets thrown from the fire truck ladder, through a window and onto a Murphy bed, which promptly retracts into the wall. In Mel Brooks' Silent Movie, a hotel's neon sign advertises "Murphy Beds — Charming to the Unsophisticated". Modern Murphy beds utilize a counterbalance system making it near impossible to get trapped (see the picture here on slide 5).
In 1989 an appellate court held that the term "Murphy bed" is no longer entitled to trademark cover because a substantial majority of the public perceive the term as a generic term for a bed that folds into a wall, rather than the specific model made by the Murphy Bed Co.
Serving Vancouver Island, BC Communities:
Serving Vancouver Island, BC Communities:
Sidney, Saanich, Oak Bay, Fairfield, James Bay, View Royal, Victoria, Bear Mountain, Royal Oak, Broadmead, Songhees, Esquimalt, Cordova Bay, Westshore, Highlands, Langford, Colwood, Metchosin, Sooke, Vic West, Brentwood, Mill Bay, Malahat, Shawnigan Lake, Arbutus Ridge, Cobble Hill, Cowichan Bay, Cowichan Lake, Youbou, Duncan, Chemainus, Gulf Islands, Saltspring, Crofton, Saltair, Cedar, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Parksville, Port Alberni, Ucluelet, Tofino, Parksville, Qualicum, Courtenay, Comox, Campbell River.