Weird and Wonderful Beds from History

Throughout history, people have tried to make their nightly sleep a bit more relaxing, interesting, or just plain strange. One of the more recent, but very interesting, styles is a handmade bed that can rock you to sleep. The frame is in the shape of an oval, with the mattress suspended inside. Slight movement at the head or the foot will provide a gentle rocking motion that may help those who have a bit or trouble getting to sleep.

A Bit Weird and Definitely Wonderful

The bed in the accompanying photo is not really weird, but it was, and is, a very popular style. The four-poster has been around for a long, long time, with some additions like the canopy that was believed to have been included to protect people in the bed from things falling from the roof and ceiling. This was, of course, during the time of thatched roofs, when critters of all types burrowed into the roofing material. Notice the carved shapes on top of each post.

But this older design is probably not as famous as the bed in which John Lennon and Yoko Ono protested the Vietnam War. One of many non-violent protests of the 1960s, this week-long action was certainly one of the more well-known at the time. The celebrity couple spent a week in bed in two locations, with a film crew recording the event for a documentary. The “bed-in” was well received by thousands of viewers. The bed itself was quite common, but the activity surrounding it was anything but.

Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee, is a popular tourist attraction. It was the home of “The King” for several years. It features some rather interesting interior design ideas, which visitors either love or hate. One of the more fascinating possessions that Presley had was a large bed that looked a bit like a hamburger bun (as his daughter called it). The bed is now part of rock-and-roll history and has been sold on eBay for $50,000, after occupying a space in the Country Music Hall of Fame for a few years.

Very Large

Known as The Great Bed of Ware, this four-poster was built by Jonas Fosbrooke, a carpenter in the 16th century. It was originally in the White Hart Inn in Ware, a town north of London, England. Some have said the bed could hold 15 people comfortably, due to its 10-feet x 11-feet size. The bed has been altered by those who slept in it, as they carved their names in the posts. It now sits in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

One of the more fascinating beds ever constructed was connected to a piano. The keyboard could be extended away from the main part of the instrument, which formed the footboard of the bed. The occupant could lie in bed and play music on the keyboard, which would then be put back into place on folding arms. Weird and wonderful, indeed.

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