History of the Murphy Bed

The bed is named after William Lawrence Murphy (1876– May 23, 1957), who applied for his very first patent some time in the early 1900’s.  History indicates that, he was trying to get the attention of an opera singer, but was living in a one room flat in San Francisco. At the time, it was considered immoral for a woman to enter a male’s bedroom. So the invention from Murphy changed his bedroom into a sitting room allowing him to have women visit there.

Before the time that fold-up beds had existed, and were sold by Sears, Roebuck & Co. in their catalog, however Murphy had designs that got a series of patents.  One was received for a “Disappearing Bed” on June 18, 1912 and another for a “Design for a Bed” on June 27, 1916.

Murphy beds are made use of for space-saving functions, much like trundle beds, and are popular where flooring location is restricted, such as small houses, home or condominiums, hotels, mobile homes and college dorm rooms. In the last few years, Murphy bed systems have really consisted of options such as lighting, storage cabinets, and work environment elements. They have actually seen a revival in appeal in the early 2010s due to the weak economy, with kids moving back in with their parents and homes choosing to renovate homes instead of acquiring bigger ones.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the term “Murphy Bed” had received such common use that it was no longer qualified for trademark defense.