American Standard 1920-1930s bathrooms sinks

American Standard makes two sinks suitable for pre-war homes that have a “wash-stand” feel. Their “Standard” collection sink (shown at left) sits on chrome legs, with a small storage area below, and flanked by integral towel bars. Meanwhile, they also have the similar “Retrospect” sink that sits on either chrome legs or on a custom wood stand (below). Note, I do not tend to think that these are true reproductions, although I could be wrong, as I have not spent even 1% of the time with pre-war archival materials as I have with post-war stuff. This sink — by Strom Plumbing — on the other hand, is super-typical (I think) of bathroom sinks in homes from 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. All that said, these American Standard designs do have a great look — and it’s real hard to argue with the storage and those cute towel bars.

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Comments

  1. Elizabeth Mary says

    Pam,

    I have that first sink, and love it!!! What I love most of all is it is very tall. In my old bungalow the bathroom had a classic wall sink that was hung so low I had to bend over to use it. Pain in the back. When I saw this American Standard in Home Depot — where it was exclusive for the first couple of years, I think — and got up on the platform to see how tall it was, I was immediately sold.

    At the time I bought mine 7 years ago, it was also available as a pedestal sink and I really wanted that one, but the plumbing in my bathroom would not work with it, so I couldn’t get that one. But, having the shelf on the bottom and towel bars on the sides are added benefits to the one I had to get to fit in the room without causing a total re-do of the plumbing.

    Elizabeth

  2. Gavin Hastings says

    I really wouldn’t want to continually dust that shelf!

    My 2 American Standard sinks (1939) have a bowl area of 14″ from the wall x 18″ across and 9″ deep. Impossible to find anything even close today-why? Lots of large fixtures available, but the actuall openings are quite small.

  3. says

    I have the second sink (“Standard” in chrome) in my 1940 bathroom, which was previously home to a moldy 1979 monstrosity.

    I debated over whether to put in a pedestal, but I liked Standard’s built-in towel rack, I needed that tiny bit of storage (my bathroom has no closet space or shelving) and it was going to cost more to fix the plumbing to accommodate a pedestal-style sink. From my late-30s and early-40s magazines, I think the Standard at least fits the era’s style.

    And it goes so well with my black-and-white hex tile floor and Toto toilet. Now we just have to put in the bathtub’s field tile and replace the 70s mirror…

    • Elizabeth Mary says

      Wow, Lora,

      I also have the hex floor — white tile with dark grey grout — and a Toto toilet with my Standard sink. Love all of it.

  4. says

    Pam-
    As I remember when the american Standards came out, they advertised them as being reproductions from their 1927 line….now, I don’t know if they still are or if they have changed since then…But I worked for Expo at the time and do remember the reps coming in and training us on them.
    They are a nice looking set.

  5. KD says

    Hi all,
    Just adding to this post as I went to a vintage plumbing shop just yesterday (Hippo Hardware, Portland, Oregon) and quizzed the very knowledgeable staff. From early 1920s to about 1926 you see the very rounded rectangle sinks on pedestals where the “counter” space on the top around the basin is several inches all the way around. Circular bases only. By 1927-1930 the rage was the squared corners and square bases. Of course, they are still a little rounded, but more of the octagonal designs and edges. This is more like some of American Standard’s other pieces. By the 1930s depression era you got similar ones to what we see from Am. Std. — a sink that is stuck to the wall, but supported from the front only or on all four sides by chrome legs. I am glad I found that out as I have a 1924 bungalow and have been working on taking it back to the 20s after the last owner took it into the 70s. Not that I plan to be a strict period person, but good to know.

    They recommended that if you’re taking your house to it’s building period that it’s okay to do stuff *before* the building date, but not after. So you can have Victorian styling in a 20s home, but don’t do 30s or 40s in a 20s home. I’m happy as long as I stay away from the mid-century modern look.

    So: Couldn’t find anything in new brands that fit the true early 20s, but Kohler and Barclay have some late 20s styles. Of course this poster found the 30s styles out there.

    I also found out that for another couple of hundred bucks I could buy an actual vintage sink all replumbed for ~$400. Yes, it’s probably another $150-$200 than you wanted to spend, but how often do you buy a sink?

    KD

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