Murphy USN was a procurement officer for the US Navy in the 1930's.
He was in charge of the procurement of aircraft.
When monitoring the design and development of new aircraft, he tried to instill simplicity of maintenance into the likes of Douglas and Grumman.
Apparently one of his most belabored expressions was:
"If an aircraft fitter on one of our carriers can re-install a serviced component wrongly, then one day he will."
Gradually, this got changed into the more familiar version we know today, according to the version on the origin of Murphy's Law I heard.

Incidentally, a lot of Brits think that Murphy's Law is an Irish joke.
Murphy is an Irish name of course, and the Irish have been the butt of jokes from Brits for a long time.
Anyway, a lot of Brits seem to think that what Murphy's Law refers to is that the Irish are to blame for things going wrong because they are careless or stupid or both, at least according to British mythology on the Irish.


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