William L. Murphy, who was born in Columbia, California, near Stockton on
January 1, 1876, moved to San Francisco at the turn of the century where he met
his future wife. He lived in a one-room apartment that had a standard bed taking
up most of the floor space. Because he wanted to entertain, he began
experimenting with a folding bed, and applied for his first patent around 1900.
The "Murphy Wall Bed Company" of California came into being that year, making it
one of the oldest furniture companies in America with nearly a century of
continuous manufacturing and marketing.
The first of the folding beds were manufactured in San Francisco. In 1918,
William Murphy invented the pivot bed that pivoted on a doorjamb of a dressing
closet, and then lowered into a sleeping position - some of which are still in
During the 1920's and 1930's, the popularity of the Murphy Bed was at its peak
and in 1925 the company moved its corporate headquarters to New York City and
became the Murphy Door Bed Company, Inc. Production was limited during World War
II to replacement parts due to rationing of steel. After the war, production
remained low because the returning GIs were offered low cost VA mortgages and
single family homes began springing up all over the country. Individual
homeowners were not interested in space saving products in this era because of
their ability to buy larger homes relatively easy. In the 50's and 60's, the
beds were sold primarily as a specialty item for builders. William K. Murphy,
son of the founder, took over as president after serving in World War II and
Korea. In the 70's this attitude changed dramatically. The recession, the oil
embargoes and high interest rates fused together to change America's lifestyles,
focusing attention once more on the problem which William L. Murphy wrestled
with in 1900 - how to make the most of limited space.
The wall bed business again grew as families found it too costly to move to
larger homes. During the 80's and 90's, sales continued to grow with the
introduction of a full line of ready to assemble cabinetry and wall units
changing the Murphy Bed from a built-in to a piece of furniture. Today, Clark W.
Murphy, grandson of the founder, is president and has been since 1983.
Since the original wall bed in 1900, the Murphy Bed Company has taken innovative
steps to improve the beds with models which include the patented
counter-balancing design. This patented design gave the bed mechanisms
dependability and ease of operation. The beds, which have mattress supports
built into them, will accommodate a standard mattress in twin, double, queen and
The Murphy Bed Company has bed distributors in most major cities throughout the
United States. Beds are also exported regularly to Canada, the Caribbean
Islands, Mexico and to all other countries when requested. If you live in an
area without a dealer, the company can ship direct.
According to Clark ., the Murphy beds are enjoying a continual growth in the
market share for specialty bedding. As people in metropolitan areas move into
studio apartments, the Murphy Bed is the logical choice for a space efficient
comfortable night sleep. The commercial marketplace in recent years has shown
great acceptance to our Murphy Bed mechanisms in such applications as Fire
Houses, Hospitals, Dormitories and Hotels. Homeowners are converting bedrooms to
dens, computer rooms or home offices incorporating the Murphy Bed with entire
wall systems for storage.
In January 1990, the "Murphy Door Bed Co. Inc." officially changed their
corporate name to the "Murphy Bed Co. Inc.". Our corporate headquarters,
manufacturing and warehouse facility are located under one roof in our modern
facility in Farmingdale, NY.