Who Put the Murphy in the Murphy Bed?

Who Put the Murphy in the Murphy Bed?

Murphy bed in closed and open positions

From pop culture phenomenon to space saver to innovative storage design, the Murphy bed has been a creative sleeping solution for more than a century and continues to play a vital role in homes across America.

Mr. Murphy’s Bed

murphy bed downThe bed is named after inventor William Lawrence Murphy, a fairly grand opera singer who lived in San Francisco, and who wanted to be able to entertain his lady friend in his one-room apartment. That wasn’t possible in the early 1900s, when having a bed visible was completely taboo, so he had to turn his bedroom into a parlor.

Murphy wasn’t the first to think of a folding bed, but he perfected the counter-balancing mechanism that made it practical. He received his first patent for the ‘Disappearing Bed’ in June 1912, and another in June 1916 for ‘Design for a Bed’.

The Murphy bed is unique in the fact that it has no box spring — the mattress is secured to the bed frame. Then with the help of piston-lifts, the Murphy bed frame can be easily alternated between open and closed positions.   

Pop Culture Appearances

The comic potential of Murphy beds has been explored since the earliest days of film. A Bulletproof Bed (1900) was the first film to feature the Murphy bed, but it reached silent film superstardom in Charlie Chaplin’s 1916 film One A.M.

The Murphy bed has been used as a comic prop inflicting injury and/or frustration to Buster Keaton, the Three Stooges, Abbott and Costello, and more. It even popped up in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice.  

A Modern Take on a Classic

murphy bed and desk combinationHowever, those Murphy bed misadventures are purely Hollywood folklore. Today’s Murphy bed will safely help you turn any room into a multi-functioning lifesaver.

One of our most popular options is the bed-and-desk combination. It allows you to have all the workspace you need during the day and a comfortable place to sleep at night. This is a great option for creating a space that combines a home office and a spare bedroom.

side-pull Murphy bed in open positionA Murphy bed can also double as a storage unit. If you have a small room, you can surround the mattress with bookshelf and cabinetry. You can fully customize your Murphy bed, from size — twin, full, or queen — to how the bed is accessed. For example, you can choose to either pull the bed down from the foot of the bed or the side. As this picture indicates, a side mount bed takes up less floor space.

Want to know more? Interested in seeing other bed configurations?

Explore more ideas in our Murphy bed photo gallery.

If you would rather discuss with our designer (in person) how a Murphy bed might solve your guest room problems, please provide us with your contact info via this link, and we will schedule an appointment for you:  www.closetcity.com/contact-us


Work Cited:

  1. “Murphy Bed.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, accessed 6 May 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy_bed

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