Who Is The Murphy Behind Murphy’s Law?
Have you ever wondered how some of our more popular and common sayings got their start? If I am thinking correctly then I think we'd be safe to assume that at some point somebody decided to shoot fish in a barrel and determined that was easy.
Another person must have decided that the simple process of pre-slicing bread was a good measuring stick for the worth of all objects. Yet another idiot determined that waking up every two hours because you've wet your bed or you're hungry was a great definition of a good night's sleep because that's how my babies always did it.
As you can see some of our more popular phrases and sayings don't really make a lot of sense and their origin is really kind of up in the air. Here is one that is not so much up in the air but it does have to do with America's space program. In fact many engineers credit this "law" as the reason America's space program has been quite successful. The law in question is called Murphy's Law.
Captain Edward A. Murphy was an engineer that was working on a project at Edwards Air Force Base in California in 1949. The project was determine just how much force of deceleration the human body could stand. After discovering that one of his assistants had wired a transducer backwards Murphy reportedly stated "If there is any way to do it wrong, he will find it".
Another engineer on the project was a diligent note taker and he noted what Captain Murphy said as "Murphy's Law". To be fair the note taker had a running list of sayings and "laws" based on comments other engineers made while working on the project. So, why is Murphy's Law such a big deal?
You can blame the media for that. Shortly after the deceleration project subjected a human being to a force of 40 G's, that's 40 times the force of gravity, the test subject said he owed his life and the success of the project to Murphy's Law and the need to circumvent it.
As you might imagine when the press got wind of Murphy's Law it was in all the paper and pretty soon it became a common phrase that can apply to anything from radio shows to elections.