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Windsor Folding Bed

August 28, 2015 4 Comments

Dream a Little Dream with this Windsor Bed
Back in November of 2011, we purchased a hide-away bed at a farm auction here in mid-Missouri. This glorious specimen literally hid away in a small, run-down farmhouse for many, many years. This massive piece of furniture was created by the Windsor Folding Bed Company of Chicago.  The Windsor Folding Bed is similar to the ever-popular Murphy Bed, and actually pre-dates it in patent by 26 years. The bed bears a brass plate with the patent date June 9th, 1885. 
Windsor Folding Bed Patented June 9th, 1885
While the Murphy bed is stationary and folds up into a wall, the Windsor bed is movable and folds up into itself. The Windsor's were created as a free-standing piece of furniture, disguised as a dresser, wardrobe or armoire. Around the time of their creation, these beds were famously used in New York City apartments, particularly during the population boom in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Both the Windsor and Murphy Beds were created for versatility and economical use of space. 
Windsor Folding Bed from the Side
We believe that our particular bed is one of the Victorian models. It features intricately carved designs in the walnut wood. The designs frame the original beveled mirror in the center, making the stored bed just useful as the bed itself. 
Victorian Model Windsor Folding Bed
My favorite thing about this bed may be the ease of operation. There is a single brass handle on the right side, used for lowering and raising the bed. Specially made weights are designed to perfectly balance the weight of the bed, making it easy to raise and lower with one hand. See the video below (with my lovely assistant, Scott!) for a demonstration of the folding mechanism.

 

It is interesting to note that this bed was created before the use of standard mattress sizes was put into practice. When we made our purchase, the bed was equip with a set of springs. We assume these springs are original to the bed, but are unable to say for certain. It is our assumption that a feather tick was used over the springs for sleeping. I must say, I'm pretty happy with the advancement in mattress technology since that time. 

Old Spring Box in an Antique Windsor Folding Bed

Try to imagine yourself living in the late 1800's. What kind of hype would the introduction of a folding bed have created? I am sure the latest and greatest piece of furniture created quite a stir at garden parties and influenced conversation at the dinner table. I would guess that it inspired the same amount of excitement as the "bunk bed couch" did when it made its debut in recent years. There has been a major resurgence in the popularity of these hide-away style beds, possibly due to the weak economy. Many children are staying in their parents' home longer, or moving back in once they have already left. Whether we blame the economy or pure nostalgia, hide-away beds are back and as big as ever. 

 

While searching for information about the Windsor Folding Bed, I found this original advertisement postcard from 1885. This was used by  F. J. Comstock & Co., a Saint Louis furniture company. This card is currently listed for sale by Connecticut Yankee Antiques and Collectibles on Ruby Lane. 

 

       Windsor Folding Bed Advertisement

 

Well, what do you think? Would you ever employ the use of a Windsor Folding Bed or possibly a Murphy Bed in your home? What reason would you have for wanting to/not wanting to use one? Hop on over to our Facebook Page and let me know what you think, or you can always comment below! You can also find out even more about our Windsor Bed in this listing on our website.

 

UPDATE:

Just 6 short days ago I was blogging about this beauty of a bed and TODAY she sold! She will be heading to her new home just north of Chicago (one of my very favorite cities). We are going to miss this hunk of antique perfection, but are SO EXCITED to personally deliver her to her NEW HOME! Eeek! 

A different kind of before and after: SOLD





4 Responses

Carolina
Carolina

November 24, 2018

I want to selling a windsor folding bed, 1885 If any want to buy it, can contact me at 8328068129. I send you picture.

Sandi blair
Sandi blair

August 20, 2018

We have a piece with the identical brass plate as shown in the picture of the bed. However, what we have looks like a slant top desk, all oak, but in fact when you lift the lid a marble round sink with faucet is revealed. We bought this almost 50 years ago in Staten Island , NY and wonder if anyone knows any history. The sink has a drain, and a cabinet underneath to hold a discharge pot and another cabinet underneath where we keep an antique chamber pot. Seemed like the appropriate piece to place there. So, a full bathroom in one piece of furniture. Probably was in the same room with the bed shown above. Although we like to romanticize it came out of a ships captains quarters. It has drawers above to hold toiletries and a towel bar above that. Above the sink also is a part that pivots to reveal a metal well to hold water which can then be fed through the spigot above the sink

I have never seen similar since 1969and wonder if anyone else has seen or knows anything more about this

Donald Dalton
Donald Dalton

June 25, 2018

Hi I have a bed very similar to this one that i inherited from my grandmother. it also has the windsor 1885 patent date so i guess that was a popular time for them. I beleve mine is made of mahogany but not positive

Connnie Scott
Connnie Scott

April 15, 2018

We also have purchased an antique Windsor Folding Bed from an antique store. There are a couple of items we have to fix on the bed. My question is do you have any instructions on how it actually works as ours needs some adjustments to fold up and down. Or do you know of a website that may have this information. Thank you for any help you can give us. Connie

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