Among the many items the Brooklyn Museum has in its collection is the piano bed…which is exactly what it sounds like.
Manufactured sometime around 1885 by Smith & Co. in Boston, this was a working upright piano that folded out into a bed.
“The consumer of this convertible piano-bed could, in a way, have his cake and eat it too,” the museum says on its website, “enjoying the propriety that a piano conferred on his parlor while gaining a reasonably comfortable sleeping unit for a large family living in limited space.”
It’s this same drive that led to the invention of the Murphy Bed in the early 1900's, and still leads people to install a Murphy bed in their home 118 years later.
Read on to learn why this classic piece of furniture still holds up today.