Who were the leaders in mid century bathroom fixtures? We tend to think: American Standard and Crane. Seems like we see these the most. We also tend to think of Crane as the creme de la creme. These sinks — vintage — are still around in great quantities. If you need replacement parts including instructions to DIY, see our longtime advertiser deabath.com — they are experts in Crane. So with all this background — it’s great to look at a big catalog of vintage Crane bathroom sinks, faucets, tubs and toilets from 1949. Just coming out of the war — there is a building boom on that will last for years to come. This catalog also is fabulous in terms of viewing aspirational (interior designer and illustrator conceived) color, tile, wallpaper and other 1940s and 1950 bathroom design ideas. Continue on for highlights of vintage bathroom design — and the complete catalog, enlarged in a slide show:
One almost feels voyeuristic looking at this scene — but instead of spying on this woman as she washes her hands we are all wishing we were the ones standing in this new, minty vintage bathroom — right?
Here’s an interesting color scheme for the bathroom — purple and yellow. Also check out that counter design — the Marcia counter top sink with a laminate vanity surrounding it. This sink could also be installed with a tile counter. And, take note — we presume that’s supposed to be plate glass tile in the tub surround. Glass tiles were more common in prewar days, before the huge baby boom housing boom. We tend to think this is a streamline moderne look. In postwar houses, 4″ tiles were much more common.
Interesting to see how this peachy keen bathroom above mixes what looks to be six inch square wall tiles with red and peach striped wallpaper, a checkerboard shower curtain and a black floor with an interesting inla. Back i the day, folks were so excited to get these new bathroom — they had fun using color and pattern.
Here’s an interesting way to use the corner sink — looks like they’ve made a custom sink cabinet — bumped out from the actual corner of the room to allow space for a dressing table. Very inventive.
The bathroom above includes the wonderful, rare and elusive “dental sink” — read more here.
Hands down, my favorite of the bunch would have to be this dark orange and yellow number — not only do I like the colors they chose — which really makes the crisp white Crane fixtures pop — but the layout is neat, too. I could see myself lounging in the tub, admiring the plants on the tile ledge — or taking my time getting ready at that cute little dressing table.
Here’s a classic grassy green — again with interesting tile variations in the tub. Speaking of the tub, this must be the compact model — a “mini Cindy” — look how short it is — yet there seems to be a seat on one end. These were called “receptor baths” by Crane and marketed for foot-, sponge-, or shower-baths. I’ve never seen one of these in real life before — Pam says one of her neighbors has one, in blue. Perhaps we can get her to invite herself over to take a photo?
All 24 pages of this fantastic catalog are loaded up in the gallery for all to enjoy. If you’re still hungry for more vintage Crane catalogs — revisit this 1953 Crane kitchen cabinet catalog from Pam’s collection.
Thanks to archive.org for featuring this catalog.