June 20, 2016

Special MURPHY BED Edition

If one piece of furniture is forever associated with Tudor City, it's the Murphy bed, the fold-down contraption that defined efficiency apartments.
Two original Murphy beds -- one open, one closed -- in a Tudor City apartment, 1941.
Hatfield House floor plan, 1930

The Murphy bed was named after William Lawrence Murphy, whose beds were decidedly superior to competitors' models, owing to unique pivot and counterbalance patents that Murphy owned.

Tudor City ads didn't bill them as Murphy beds. Rather, they were romanticized in ad-speak as "in-a-door-beds" or "disappearing beds" that could be hidden away by "the mere turning of a doorknob."

Murphy beds were the butt of many a joke in the movies, most memorably satirized by Charlie Chaplin in the 1916 flicker, One A.M. See the clip here.

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