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History of Castiron Clawfoot Baths

History of Cast Iron Baths

Cast Iron Baths have been in existence for many years dating back to the 1800’s however they were mostly in built and surrounded by mahogany shrouds free standing baths tended to be custom made for the era’s aristocracy. It was not until the 1880’s that the first mass producing manufacturers started to emerge, firstly a German company called Carron & Cockburn closely followed by the French and British some 6 years later.


The early mass produced claw foot baths were not classically styled roll top baths , as they had a flat edge, reminiscent of their built in cast iron bath predecessors, it was not until some twenty years later at the start of the twentieth century that the technology existed to produce roll top baths and a few years after that until the vitreous enameling process was perfected.


Cast Iron baths dating back to pre 1900 had enamel paint applied to the inside which would unceremoniously detach form the bath when exposed to hot water and surreptitiously color the bather to whatever their preferred shade of paint had been.


The first mass produced English cast iron baths were in the early 1900 with true mechanization of production starting in 1916, this advent in manufacturing meant that claw foot baths were now available to the middle classes, by the 1930’s costs had been reduced enabling working class family’s to enjoy a daily bath.


The early cast iron baths weighed some 500 kgs and were by design a statement of prosperity, to allow standardization the baths became lighter in the 1930 to a comparatively light 250-300 kgs, nowadays new cast iron baths weigh between 100 – 170 kgs depending on manufacturer and style.






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