The antique clawfoot bath tub we cherish so much today was first used during the reign of Queen Victoria. Eventually these tubs fell out of use as new lighter weight materials came into existence. Now virtually all bathtubs are mass produced out of plastic. However, many designers and homeowners appreciate the value of an authentic antique clawfoot bath tub. Even those with no concern for the historical significance of these tubs prefer to use them simply because of their sturdy build and aesthetic qualities.
Back in Time
Bathing was common all the way back in the Roman Empire. However, it wasn’t like this everywhere. The difficulties posed by moving water to and from a home were not adequately solved until the 19th century when cast iron became a usable material. The new iron pipes replaced the crude hollowed logs and finally allowed anyone to enjoy indoor plumbing.
The Kohler company made some of the first cast iron tubs in the late eighteen hundreds. Bathing was still unfamiliar for most people but it soon caught on. The cast iron tubs proved to be easy to keep clean and also extremely durable. It didn’t take long for people to realize the many health benefits of keeping clean. The spread of disease and sickness could be reduced substantially.
Soon spare rooms in houses were converted to bathrooms. After World War I, new houses were designed with the inclusion of bathrooms. These new bathrooms included the necessary plumbing for a bathtub, sink and toilet.
Antique Tubs Today
The antique clawfoot bath tub was made of cast iron. The iron surface was enameled so that it was smoother to the touch and could be easily cleaned. In America these tubs generally had holes for drainage and incoming water. In England, tubs generally only had drain holes and the faucet fixtures were placed in the wall.
The antique clawfoot bath tub differs from modern tubs because it is made out of cast iron. It feels cold to the touch and has a slightly more irregular surface. If you ever have to cast iron tub you will immediately realize the difference in weight. These tubs are extremely heavy.
The antique clawfoot bath tub generally comes in one of two common designs. Either just one end will be raised to accommodate lounging or both ends will be raised. These are referred to slipper tubs or double slipper tubs.
If you are looking for your own antique clawfoot bath tub then you can probably find one online. Because of there immense weight the shipping charges will likely be high. However, the value added to your home will certainly make these charges worthwhile.