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American beds are part of the rich history of U.S. furniture-making. From elaborate beds with hanging textiles to 20th century waterbeds, American beds transform with technology and style to ensure a good night’s sleep.
In colonial times, American beds reflected European style. The incorporation of hardwood like walnut began when the saw tool improved. The Queen Anne style, prized by collectors today, was one of the most popular colonial bed styles. The Chippendale bed, known for its ball and claw posts and Marlborough feet, also reigned during that time.
The Industrial Revolution lowered costs and simplified American bed styles. Mass-produced beds were devoid of the elaborate carvings and decorations of decades past. American bed manufacturers also produced replicas of Colonial beds.
Exquisite craftsmanship existed in the late 19th century in the form of iron American beds. The iron produced in the United States was considered the best in the world, and the beds crafted from it were also prized for their quality. Iron workers cast each bed individually and applied the finish by hand.
The modern waterbed was developed at San Francisco State University in 1968
William L. Murphy designed the Murphy bed in 1900 while living in a small San Francisco apartment
Elvis Presley’s infamous “hamburger bed,” a round, crushed-velvet piece complete with headboard TV and stereo, sold for $50,000 in 2008 on eBay
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