Mattress Fads ( Part 2: The Hobo’s Space Saver )
A young inventor, by the name of William L. Murphy, invented the first wall bed in the late 1800s. Legend has it, the young man was dating a fairly conservative young lady, who wouldn’t consent to enter young Murphy’s suite if it was just a bedroom. To change his one room flat from a bedroom to a common area, Murphy designed a bed that would fold into the wall. He patented his design in 1990 and began to sell them under the Murphy Wall Bed Company name.
In 1925, he moved the company to New York, where the space-saving invention took off with a population crammed into tiny apartments.
The bed received massive exposure when it was heavily featured in Charlie Chaplin’s 1916 film, “One A.M.” In the film, Chaplin wrestles with the mechanics of the bed, but the idea of a fold away mattress was suddenly introduced to a world audience.
The popularity of the bed seems to mirror the financial stability of the open market. When times are plentiful, the 1950s and 1980s, Murphy bed sales are down. When the economy dips into a recession, Murphy bed sales increase, as space becomes more valuable.
Murphy beds also suffer from their dependence on a number of moving parts. Moving metal increases the chance of mechanical failure and also the potential for accidents. A modern pocket coil mattress is much safer.
As a permanent structure, they also allow limit the options for interior designing.
But the most challenging feature of the Murphy Bed is the need for professional installation. This is not a bed you can buy from a mattress Vancouver showroom, take home and sleep on that night. Murphy bed installation requires a strong knowledge of load bearing walls; without which the bed of your dreams could end up in a comic crash that is far from silent.