Convertible Furniture

By mwilcox


Convertible furniture is often attached to William L. Murphy, who designed a folding bed to fit into small spaces. Murphy 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 was formed later that year and remains in production to this day.

The success of Murphy's bed soon brought about a number of competitors with their own patented furniture, though few of them survived the Second World War. We have no information on either the designer of this piece, W. A. Noack, or the Concealo Sales Co. of New York, both appear to have dissappeared into the mists of time. In terms of value, furniture like this is more of a curiousity rather than a valuable antique, most comparable examples now sell in the $300.00- $500.00 range at auction.