Photo via Life Archives
Consider, for a moment, the heart-shaped bed: the silk-encased booty call of furniture and the very essence of guilty-pleasure design. Ostensibly a clunky relic of the growing pains that accompanied America's sexual liberation, the heart-shaped bed and its brethren shouldn't be dismissed as a relic of a bygone age or fetishized kitsch. Like it or not, so-called "love furniture" is part of America's design legacy. Most of the early practitioners of "boink" beds were average mom-and-pop hotel owners across America. Morris B. Wilkins, now 85, invented the first romantic jacuzzi by setting concrete in a heart shape and adding mirrors, while the first vibrating bed was made in a basement in Glenrock, New Jersey. Now, the rotating, vibrating, coin-operated, velvet-lined love bed continues its scattershot reign on popular imagination in motels across the country.
An abridged timeline of America's most seductive settings >>