A Litte Bit of Mattress History

A Litte Bit of Mattress History


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Back in the day, mattresses were one of the most valuable items in the home, so firefighters carried bed keys on every call in order to easily disassemble frames and usher mattresses to safety.

A bed key is among the quirky, fun ephemera found at the San Francisco Fire Department Museum.

Bed frame keys from the early 19th century

The bed key has an interesting history.  In the 18th and 19th centuries, these keys -- which unlocked mattress frames -- was among the most important keys a firefighter possessed.

Paid by the individuals, not the city, these firefighters knew the importance of an intact mattress to their clients.  We're pretty convinced that our McRoskey customers feel the same about their mattresses today ... but no key required!

McRoskey Mattress Company has been handcrafting mattresses in San Francisco since 1899.  In fact, McRoskey was the only mattress manufacturer in the City to survive the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906, and played a part in returning comfort to San Francisco.

Read this article to learn more about the SFFD museum and the bed key.

Get an inside look at how we handcraft every McRoskey mattress and absorb more mattress history with a McRoskey factory tour.  It's fun and free!

Robin Azevedo