Alum Charles Hall Invented the Waterbed as His Grad Design Project

Monday, June 18, 2018

NAPLES DAILY NEWS (FLORIDA) -- It’s been nearly 50 years since Charles Hall first unveiled the waterbed in San Francisco.

Hall, then a graduate student in product design at San Francisco State University, said he designed the waterbed as his graduate design project in human comfort. The design started as a chair, which Hall described as “very comfortable, but not very practical” because it weighed nearly 300 pounds and its gelatinous material swallowed those who dared to sit in it. He decided beds were a better fit, and a staple of the 1970s and ’80s was born.

“It was the right atmosphere, right time, right place for waterbeds because that was a very creative era in San Francisco — Summer of Love and Jefferson Airplane and all that stuff,” Hall said.