Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Anniversary Gift of Steel

My husband has been helping a friend of my Mom’s clean out her house and garage to sell.  Her house is a 1870s colonial that used to be home to her family’s cattle hauling business and it has been a treasure trove of wonderful and unique vintage items. For our anniversary in June my husband surprised me with this beautiful double galvanized tub wash stand.

I wanted to know a little bit about the “Wheeling” printed on the side so I, of course, consulted the internet. I found a little information on the WV encyclopedia website (who knew there was such a thing? Link here.) Turns out the Wheeling Steel Corporation was a mix of three separate steel companies- La Belle Iron Works, the Whitaker-Glessner Company, and the Wheeling Steel & Iron Works that combined on June 21, 1920.  Wheeling was close to resources that made it very profitable for iron mills and metal works.  Wheeling Steel became known for producing the industry’s first “black plate” for tinning in the 1920s (any thoughts on what “tinning” is? No? I’ll find out. Don’t worry.) as well as tin cans, lard pails, stoves, lunch pails steel plates and sheets. In 1968 Wheeling Steel merged with Pittsburgh Steel to form the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation.  I’m guessing my double basin is from the 1940s-1950s era when that type of “everyday use” product would have been what Wheeling Steel was creating.

I love my wash stand and think it’s a wonderful anniversary gift for someone who so cherishes items from the past. Someday, it will sit in the bathroom of my old farmhouse that we will own and hopefully look something like this.

Source: via Pinterest

Chip and Joanna….are you reading? ;) (Bonus points to all y’all who just caught that Fixer Upper reference.)

P.S. “Tinning” is the “process of thinly coating sheets of wrought iron or steel with tin, and the resulting product is known as tinplate.”  Thanks Wikipedia!