Wodd wodder woddest: 1966 aqua porcelain kitchen sink with egg-shaped bowls and stick shift faucet

aqua-vintage-kitchen-sinkYowza — today a real treat —  one of the most delicious looking vintage woddities in a while. Reader Tami spotted this amazing aqua American Standard porcelain sink listed for sale on Ebay. The sink’s double not-quite-circular bowls… not-quite-square shape with not-quite-square hudee ring… luscious aqua color… and original faucet with dual built-in soap dispensers are unlike quite anything we’ve ever seen before. While basking in the beauty of this sink however, a realization hit me: How to turn on the tap? It looks like there is a… stick shift required? Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines… 

vintage-60s-turquoise-kitchen-sinkFrom the Ebay listing:

Very hard to find one of these anywhere. Double Bowl Blue Kitchen style cast iron sink with soap dispensers. This has round basin bowls as apposed to the square ones that you normally see, very unique. Kinda reminds as something that would be on the Jetson’s.

aqua-kitchen-sink

–Sink dimensions & info–

  • American Standard Industrial Original Porcelain Cast Iron sink Set from 1966
  • This sink is in good condition with minor wear & tear

This sink comes with all following original & included

  • faucet, I have not tried it to see if it works properly or leaks. It is also marked American Standard
  • 2 soap dispensers, one has the pickup tube broken, missing bottles (looks like a standard size bottle threads) not sure if the pumps on dispensers work.
aqua-American-Standard-porcelain-sink

Pam says that working this sink looks like it would require the same skill she needed to drive her dad’s stick-on-the-column Datsun pickup circa 1975.

  • cable pull knob with cable, does not move, maybe able to free it up or replace. I’m not sure what this was for but maybe a garbage disposer or drain closer.
  • Trim ring chrome, it does have some dents/bends at both ends that should be able to be straightened.
  • Stamped on the bottom it says 42 x 21 in. Width/Length
  • The sink has been lightly cleaned

mid-century-kitchen-sinkDate Stamped 4-1-1966 Also stamped American Standard & American Sanitary Louisville Made In the USA
This was the last year & one of the only years they made this style of sink branded “Standard”– In 1967,the company changed its name to American Standard Corporation.This sink was made in America back when things were made to last-This company has changed hands so many times nowadays that Made in the USA by “Standard” is now a thing of the past.

retro-kitchen-sink-american-standard

  • Original porcelain enamel finish has wear & tear -couple pings in dings but overall in good condition
  • I did find a chip in the porcelain but it is not down to the cast iron, it is on the upper right of the left bowl between the bowls.
  • It does have scratches and scuffs, maybe able to polish it out.
  • Again this was only lightly cleaned and there is some dirt/build up around the chrome ring and faucet.
  • Please view all photos as they are part of the description.
  •  This sink weights probably 200-300 lbs.

1960s-kitchen-sink-retroI asked the Ebay seller if he knew more about the history of this sink, but all he could tell me was that it was originally from Iowa. With all of its built-in features, this sink must have been cutting edge back in 1966. If this sink were in my kitchen, I’m not sure I would be able to figure out how to turn on the water and adjust the temperature. The third knob on the faucet must have something to do with turning on the sink, but what function could the mystery lever serve?

Mega thanks to Ebay seller tomcturtle for allowing us to archive his photos of this amazing midcentury sink.

Want to see more unusual kitchen sinks? Read our story — 12 rare vintage kitchen sinks spotted in 5 years of blogging — now 13!

Readers — have any of you seen a sink like this before?

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Comments

  1. Mary Elizabeth says

    Good morning, Kate! What a beautiful sink! Hmm. I haven’t seen one of these before, and my expertise is limited to watching and helping my (once licensed) handyman husband replace and fix many sinks. But we can figure it out by looking at the photos.

    I’m sure the “stick shift” in the back is similar to the single-control levers on more recent models of faucets. Notice the photo of the sink from the bottom has two supply lines coming from the bottom of the lever. My guess is that you move the lever right for cold water and left for hot water, which has been standard for a while. To get water flow, you would push the lever back for off and forward for on.

    The cable coming from the third opening (the other two being dispensers) is likely an automatic plug. It doesn’t appear to be electrical (as you would need for a disposall) or have a supply line or hose (as you would need for a sink sprayer).

    The challenge for the person buying this is that although the faucet is American made, if it doesn’t work it will be hard to get parts and hard to replace (because the base is not a standard shape today). But if someone adventurous buys it, they should also buy Kohler Cast Iron Sink Cleaner, which in my experience will get rid of scuffs and dirt in fine scratches. Getting the dirt out of the scratches makes them seem to disappear. Someone is in for a RetroReno adventure, all right. I hope it’s someone who frequents this site, as hopefully he/she will let us know how it works out and send us photos of the installation.

  2. Michelle says

    Fantastic sink but WAY WAY WAY over priced for something that isn’t even functional or tested… or even properly cleaned up.

  3. Peter says

    My sister has an original 1960s sink with the same stick control and it works just as Mary Elizabeth guessed: forward and back for water pressure; left and right for temperature. Also agree with her that the “third knob” is likely the drain stopper.

    • Robin, NV says

      But if the third knob is the drain stopper, which sink does it stop? Both? Just the left? Why would you have a stopper for one side but not the other?

      This thing is great but I’m fearful that the one-off faucet arrangement means that either the original faucet has to work or you’ll never find a replacement. Plus that hoodie ring is certainly a custom job. We put a hoodie ring around our new kitchen sink and my contractor was a little intimidated by it. He said he’d taken a lot of them out but never installed one. I told him he can add “hoodie ring installation” to his resume now. 🙂

  4. Lynne says

    Oh my gosh! This bay seller is in Peoria, Illinois! I live about 15 minutes from there, my folks still do! Too bad I don’t need a funky blue sink!

  5. pam kueber says

    I learned to drive on a truck like this.

    Shift on the column. Circa 1975 Datsun compact pickup. Good times.

  6. amypie says

    I would absolutely buy this, but can’t do the price. And if I had that much to spend on this sink, I would never, ever, ever let anyone else touch it!

  7. Steve says

    It looks like the triangular metal plate might be a separate piece from the faucet, in which case I suppose it may be possible to retrofit a new faucet. You could just leave the stick shift thingy on the back. I think that’s the only thing that could make it a viable project. And then of course you need to find an vintage aqua wall oven and cooktop.

    • TappanTrailerTami says

      Totally agree Scott!!! However…..I think the price is a wallet stopper for most 🙁 At least Pam has it for the archives now even if no one can or would dig up $3k for it.

      • Mary Elizabeth says

        Tammy, I love the “wallet stopper” expression! You start to take your wallet out of your purse or pocket, look at the pricetag and say, “Whoa there!”

        • Kathy Murray says

          This wallet stopper would look perfect in my kitchen. It matches my 1959 aqua GE double oven and aqua diner booth. 3000$ is not my price range but I do have the perfect kitchen for it.

          Kathy

  8. Joe Felice says

    “How very Jetsons” was the first thing that came to mind. A lot of thought has gone into the design and production of this sink. (Maybe an engineer with too-much time on his hands?) Wouldn’t this make a crown jewel for someone’s kitchen? I especially love the cable pull for the drain on one side. Not sure why 2 soap dispensers are needed. And the on-off handle is was very avante garde for 1966.

  9. Danita says

    Yes, I have seen this type of sink before. The faucet is the American Standard Aquaseal – thanks to my husband – the plumber – who installed these types of faucets back in the 1960s. His parents had this type of kitchen faucet and contrary to what has been written, operates the same way as a normal single handle kitchen faucet. The only different is that you pull it forward instead of lifting the handle up. Push the Aquaseal handle to the left – hot, right – cold. You’d probably have to hunt around for the seats and stems, but could find and rebuild, as the faucet was one of the smoothest operating on the market at that time – better than todays!

    • Mary Elizabeth says

      Danita, thanks for identifying the faucet model and age. But as for the operation, that is exactly what I guessed in the first comment–forward on, back off, right cold, left hot.

      Good old Made in America, right?

  10. Wesley Gale says

    Hello all, This is a great review. I actually have this exact sink in a peach color, just the sink, no hardware, pristine condition. I am about to list it for sale!

    Thanks

  11. Sandy says

    I just bought this exact same sink off eBay. It it’s getting shipped this week ! It’s finding a good home in our OBX retro beach house kitchen.

    Thank you for this great blog…….it’s a wonderful resource!

  12. Christine says

    We have this same sink in avocado green. It looks like the original faucet has been replaced — and unfortunately it’s dying. But I love the sink!

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