September 15, 2017

Tudor City Artifact: The MURPHY IN-A-DOR BED

Today, a choice artifact courtesy of Tudor City connoisseur Brian Thompson ‒ a 1927 Murphy In-A-Dor bed frame with its original metal-plate instructions intact.

Tudor City apartments came equipped with fold-up beds from the beginning. Today's artifact was installed by the French Company in a Prospect Tower studio in 1927, where it remains in use today, tags and all. It's certainly well made, none the worse for wear after 90 years of use. Thank god it can't talk.

Though it had many competitors, the Murphy bed was considered the finest, eventually becoming the generic name for the pull-down bed. We think it's much in character for Fred French to equip the complex with the brand. French didn't skimp on the details, outfitting the complex with top-of-the-line goods like Frigidaires, Lamberton Scammell china, Atlantic Terra Cotta, etc.

Below, the Murphy bed instruction plates. We've transcribed the text for easier reading.

1. In raising or lowering bed, handle at center. When raising bed hold on to it until it stops in an upright position.
2. The bed without mattress requires only five or six balance springs, with mattress and bed clothing additional springs should be attached so that bed will balance. These additional springs are always furnished with the bed. See that they are put on.
3. Murphy beds are made in standard widths and various designs and finishes, any of which can be concealed in a closet behind an ordinary door.

For perfect balance hook on or unhook extra springs. Do not pull mattress clamps forcibly. To operate properly, press down on loop that holds bedding while lifting. . .

For more Murphy bed minutiae, click here.

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