We Had a House With a Murphy Bed

@Corbin5 (106509)
United States
October 1, 2017 2:01pm CST
When my dad first started teaching, he made very little money due to the fact that teachers were paid poorly in the 1950s. My parents could only afford to buy a small ranch house, with only one bedroom, on an acre of land in the state of Illinois during Dad's teaching days. I remember that there was a Murphy bed in the living room of that small ranch house. Murphy beds, invented in 1900 by Mr. William Lawrence Murphy, are also called fold-down beds, wall beds, or pull-down beds. My parents slept on the Murphy bed at night, and my siblings and I slept in the one and only bedroom in the house. In the morning, the Murphy bed, that was hinged at one end, was lifted at its end and pushed vertically into a large closet. The closet had nice-looking double doors that kept the Murphy bed out of sight during the day. If a Murphy bed was not installed properly, the bed could collapse on the person operating the bed. There have been a few cases of people being folded-up into the closet while still on the the Murphy bed and death by suffocation resulted. I am pleased that Dad gave up teaching and took a job as a consultant for an educational publisher. That job allowed Dad to afford a house that did not have a Murphy bed, but a house that had plenty of bedrooms. Photo credit:By David Boyle (Flickr: P-Town_0022) [CC BY 2.0 ( via Wikimedia Commons
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)],
43 people like this
41 responses
@marlina (73884)
• Canada
1 Oct
I am pleased too for your family that your Dad found a better paying job.
5 people like this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
1 Oct
He did. Teaching still pays too little for a person who must support a family.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (64992)
• India
1 Oct
Will you believe it, I started fancying a lot of such things, primarily because I am lazy (and one person said lazy people are intelligent). So I always wanted a small house big covered porch, and naturally something inside that would work as sitting room as well as bedroom. Murphy bed seemed so great till I saw Ikea's pull out bed. That is so perfect! The bay window seat, at the end of the day, draw out a big bed.
3 people like this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
1 Oct
I think it is a great idea. I looked online, and those Murphy beds are very good looking.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (64992)
• India
1 Oct
@Corbin5 Something similar to what Ikea came up with was used in that Kasita... After that, Murphy bed lost appeal for me.
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1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
1 Oct
@vandana7 Thank you for the link! Off to take a look!!! Wow! Everything is perfect in that tiny house!!!
1 person likes this
@DianneN (78467)
• United States
1 Oct
I've always seen them on the old TV shows and found them fascinating. Never had one myself.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
2 Oct
They sell them today, but they come with a unit into which the bed is store. Looks like a lovely, large bureau when the bed is inside.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (78467)
• United States
2 Oct
@Corbin5 I think I'll pass. lol
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
2 Oct
1 person likes this
@Juliaacv (30414)
• Canada
1 Oct
Although I have never seen one myself, they seem to have filled a need. And at least you'd always remember to make your bed every day wouldn't you?
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
1 Oct
Yes, the bed was made before it was lifted and pushed into the closet. A space-saver it was.
1 person likes this
@Juliaacv (30414)
• Canada
1 Oct
@Corbin5 I think that they'd have a use in some of these space saving condos being built today.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
1 Oct
@Juliaacv They are sold online, and certainly look nice, but they are sold as a unit that is attached to the wall rather than as a bed that goes into a wall.
1 person likes this
@crossbones27 (19596)
• Redlands, California
1 Oct
I remember those. We never had one of those, but did have the couch folding beds. When we went to fix up my sisters dads condo in Chicago. He had a folding couch that the dogs and I slept on in the basement. The basement was huge and Brooklyn loved sprinting back and forth. Tristan and I just laid down to take a nap, but Brooklyn was still up and wanting to play some more. I was about to fall asleep when I could hear her little paws picking up speed. I open my eyes and see her flying over me. She lands right in the middle of the bed and the whole things collapses with all of us in it and the bed folding on top of Tristan. Boy, he was not happy with her. She did that again one more time before we left. All of us in it again, but this time it broke and we all ended up sleeping on the cold floor that night. Thanks Brooklyn.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
1 Oct
Oh boy, Tristan sure had a rude awakening thanks to rowdy Brooklyn!! Brooklyn breaking the bed was quite an ending to that couch with the folding bed!!!
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
1 Oct
1 person likes this
@toniganzon (49989)
• Philippines
2 Oct
That was pretty cool. I remember when my father was a teacher too we had this couch that turns into a bed at night. He, mom, and I were sleeping there while my sisters and brothers slept in the two bedrooms in that small apartment. He gave up teaching, went into business and we were able to buy a big house with lots of bedrooms too. And we slept in a waterbed which was considered very expensive those days. We were the only ones who had those in the whole town.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
2 Oct
Your dad and mine were so fortunate to find jobs that paid a lot better than teaching!! I have never slept on a waterbed. Would like to give that a try.
1 person likes this
@toniganzon (49989)
• Philippines
3 Oct
@Corbin5 I enjoyed sleeping in the water bed. Every time my cousins would visit, they would all try the waterbed.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Oct
My house, built in 1905, has a Murphy ironing board built into my kitchen wall. It's the only ironing board I've used since moving here many years ago.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
2 Oct
My grandmother's house had an ironing board that folded into the wall. Very handy item!!
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Oct
@Corbin5 Yes it is, especially since these older houses often have little closet space for storing things like ironing boards!
1 person likes this
@AliCanary (1807)
1 Oct
Oh my god, I can't imagine the terror of finding yourself upside-down, trapped in a closet and suffocating! I would definitely make sure to sleep so that I would at least be head-up and able to push it back out. There was at least one suite with a Murphy bed at the Marriott I used to work at (it was a "meeting suite", and having a bed would look unprofessional).
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
2 Oct
My research told of three cases of people getting stuck in those. Today, the Murphy beds are incredibly safe.
1 person likes this
@AliCanary (1807)
3 Oct
@Corbin5 - That's terribly sad. I'm glad they are safe nowadays.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Oct
Thats cool Deborah..the old Murphy beds..I cannot recall where but I do remember seeing one sometime, somewhere in life.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
1 Oct
I think I have seen them in old movies. Now, they make safer models that are really nice-looking.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Oct
@Corbin5 I saw one old downtown St Louis years ago as I recall..
1 person likes this
@Courtlynn (66133)
• United States
1 Oct
Never heard of it as a murphy bed, interesting. Good to know whos idea it was. Always wanted on cuz itd free up space but is dangerous.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
2 Oct
Well, Mr. Murphy did make a space-saving bed. A good idea at the time.
1 person likes this
@Courtlynn (66133)
• United States
2 Oct
@Corbin5 sure seems it. If only they were all made right im sure people would still have them
1 person likes this
@amadeo (65973)
• United States
1 Oct
I never saw murphy bread.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
1 Oct
They do sell them today, but they are one unit and look really nice.
@amadeo (65973)
• United States
1 Oct
@Corbin5 also did not realized that this is still here.but a good idea
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (40229)
• Germany
1 Oct
I know such beds. In Germany, they are just called 'folding beds'. I've seen more sofas, though, which can be 'unfolded' into beds. They still exist. I don't know if people still have beds which fold into the wall as you've described here.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
1 Oct
They still sell Murphy beds, but much better looking and probably safer. However, they are sold as one unit and not meant to fold-up into an opening in the wall.
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@MALUSE (40229)
• Germany
1 Oct
@Corbin5 I remember now that I've seen such one-unit beds in furniture catalogues. They still exist.
1 person likes this
@shaggin (36846)
• United States
2 Oct
How sad that teaching was such little pay! I never knew those fold away beds could be so dangerous I always thougt they were so neat although I have never seen one in person.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
2 Oct
Teaching still does not pay enough, but thanks to the good ones who work so hard for so little pay. I think, back in the day, the first Murphy beds could be dangerous, but not ones made today.
1 person likes this
@shaggin (36846)
• United States
3 Oct
@Corbin5 Teachers make a lot of money but it is a job I would not have the patience for. I've heard some schools teachers do not earn much but that our school is one of the highest paying in the area. I don't know how true that is but I know the art teacher made $80,000 quite a few years back.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
3 Oct
@shaggin Well, those teachers who have taught for decades and have master's degrees make more. Most school districts work really hard to make those teachers retire due to having to pay their high salaries, which were earned over a 30-year period.
1 person likes this
@snowy22315 (47264)
• United States
2 Oct
I never had a Murphy bed, but I once had a pull out mattress frommyr couch. I didn't think it was too bad..but my former hubby used to refer to it..as a "torture chamber."
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
2 Oct
Yes, we had the couches with beds that folded out too. Comfort is not characteristic of the sofa beds.
2 people like this
@Marty1 (33603)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2 Oct
@Corbin5 i always wanted a sofa bed! I may be getting a new sofa next year, but my sister said no sofa bed as i have an extra bed in Onyx's room. If you don't mind litter boxes in your sleeping area lol!
1 person likes this
@snowy22315 (47264)
• United States
2 Oct
@Corbin5 I think to get a really comfortable one you have to spend big bucks like 1,000 plus might get you a decent one.
1 person likes this
@alberello75 (17539)
• Genova, Italy
2 Oct
I do not know if it was the same thing. My paternal grandmother, she had a locker-bed. My dad (or my uncle) slept when they were children. Was this also a Murphy bed?
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
2 Oct
Yes, your grandmother had a Murphy bed too. The ones made today are very safe and very attractive.
1 person likes this
@alberello75 (17539)
• Genova, Italy
2 Oct
@Corbin5 Surely the Murphy bed unfortunately was fatal to some unlucky person who was overwhelmed by it!
1 person likes this
@alberello75 (17539)
• Genova, Italy
3 Oct
@Corbin5 In fact, with time, everything is perfected.
1 person likes this
@cacay1 (32915)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
2 Oct
Your dad is a very responsible and loving dad and God lets him live too long because he is a kind and good person.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
2 Oct
Yes, Dad did a lot of good things to help others in his life. God has blessed him.
1 person likes this
@cacay1 (32915)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
3 Oct
@Corbin5 That is true, God has blessed him. I hope he could still remember his good deeds.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
3 Oct
@hereandthere (31141)
• Philippines
2 Oct
i would prefer one that's sideways.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
2 Oct
Sideways is an interesting idea.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
3 Oct
@Corbin5 so the bed is not that high and heavy, and can serve as a sofa, too.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
3 Oct
@hereandthere No, a Murphy bed is just a bed and cannot serve as a sofa. It is not a heavy bed, though.
1 person likes this
@cahaya1983 (10053)
• Malaysia
2 Oct
It's not common here. I wonder if there are still such beds around but designed with more secure features so accidents like you mentioned don't happen.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
2 Oct
The Murphy beds of today are very safe and are sold as a unit into which the bed is folded. The unit is probably anchored to the wall.
1 person likes this
@cahaya1983 (10053)
• Malaysia
2 Oct
@Corbin5 Very good space-saving alternative, I think
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
3 Oct
@cahaya1983 Yes, it really was. The new ones sold today are safe and nice-looking.
1 person likes this
@Tina30219 (34237)
• Onaway, Michigan
2 Oct
My boyfriend would like to get one put in our front bedroom. Time will tell if it happens.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
3 Oct
They do sell them as one unit now. Some are really nice-looking.
1 person likes this
@Tina30219 (34237)
• Onaway, Michigan
3 Oct
@Corbin5 Cool I am kind of looking forward to it when we do.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Oct
A Murphy bed sounds pretty ingenius when one is considering housing/accompanying sleep for more people than what bedrooms were actually available for sleeping . . .
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (106509)
• United States
2 Oct
It sure was a space-saver. They are sold as one unit online, and mighty fancy they are. Pricey too.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Oct
@Corbin5 yes they are quite pricey, some even more than a free standing vertical floor model !
1 person likes this