Murphy's Law is a very recent invention. The first reference to it is in a
1951 scientific journal.

It comes from an unlikely source. In 1948 and 1949, tests to see how humans
could tolerate G forces on impact and while flying at high speeds were being
carried out at Edwards Air Force base in the Mojave Desert, in California.

Dr. John Stapp, a U.S. Air Force colonel and Flight Surgeon in the 1950s,
was in charge. Research and Development chief Edward Aloysius Murphy, a New
Jersey native and decorated World War II pilot, was also involved in the
highly complex testing phase.

A key sensor was installed completely backwards, allegedly by
Murphy, who never checked it before it was made operational. As a result the
test went utterly haywire much to the embarrassment of everyone concerned.

Stapp used the term "Murphy's Law" in a subsequent press conference saying
the incident had taught them to assume whatever could go wrong would and to
plan for it.

The next major mention is in the May/June 1955 issue of Aviation Mechanics
Bulletin which included the line "Murphy's law: If an aircraft part can be
installed incorrectly, someone will install it that way."

It really took off (pardon the pun) in 1962 when the Mercury
istoric-mission-to-the-moon.html> astronauts cited Murphy's Law in
explaining why everything was checked and rechecked before spaceflight.

Murphy died in 1990. In the 1960s he worked on the Apollo moon mission on
safety and life protection issues. He always claimed his law was a positive
development, by teaching people to expect the worst and safeguarding against

Some Murphy's laws:

1. Everything that can go wrong will.

2. If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that
will cause the most damage will be the first one to go wrong.

3. The things that go wrong are the hardest to get right.

4. Murphy was an optimist.

5. If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which something can
go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will
promptly develop.

6. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked

7. Everything takes longer than you think.

8. You never find a lost article until you replace it.

9. If nobody uses it, there's a reason.

10. You get the most of what you need the least.

11. Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

12. Enjoy today, tomorrow will be worse.