Midcentury “Cinderella bathtubs”


Rerunning this post — because in the meantime I discovered these are called “Cinderella bathtubs.” Here’s Alice’s, too. There were “Cinderella windows”, too. Stay tuned on that one.

We are getting a clean start hehehe to 2009 with this post showcasing some simply wonderful bathtubs from the postwar period. Oh my gosh, look at this 1947 “neo angle” from American Standard … My dream bathtub, no question. But if I had one of these, there probably wouldn’t be a blog, because I’d never leave it. Read on for more vintage tubs … and 6 photos in all…

1959 kohler mayflower bathtub

Above: A 1959 Kohler Mayflower, recessed. Kohler still makes the Mayflower model – it’s petite, but very nice! If I had the space, I’d use it – in pink, of course!

Doesn’t this 1959 Kohler Cosmopolitan just glisten! Notice the little rings holding back the shower curtain in all these images. I’ve never seen this before. Do you think people really did this in their homes? Or is it just for advertising, to show off the tubs while still featuring a shower curtain? Readers – any real-life examples found in your time capsule homes?


The copy is fun to read. I think that Amy’s little tub/shower may be the Kohler Standish “showering bath” mentioned here.

be safeIf you are the owner of an older porcelain enamel bathtub or sinks — or are considering buying one — please see my May 2, 2016 story Understanding potential lead hazards in old porcelain enamel bathtubs and sinks and ceramic tile of any age; this article focuses on raising awareness around three other potential sources of lead dust exposure in your home – old porcelain enamel bathtubs and sinks and ceramic tile of any era — and steps you can take to assess and, if required, address them.


  1. Stacey Fraser says:

    Hi there,

    We purchased a mid-mod home in Riverside, California, The main bathroom looks to have been renovated in the 80’s but the original Cinderella tub remains and is in great condition – sadly it looks to hav been reglazed beige – we are thinking we would like to reglaze again in a different color. The wall mount taps are leaking from the inside so we know we need to to open up the walls and retile. We want to keep the tub but we are thinking about updating everything else – Do you have recommendations a vintage/modern reno? Is subway tile best? What kind of vanity would work? How do you prevent water form going everywhere when showering? Would glass doors work or should we do a custom shower curtain rod with tie backs? I want vintage but ultra modern – sort of a
    take on the original mid-mod design.

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Hi Stacey,

      Sounds like you are about to have some fun! To answer a few of your questions:

      – Subway tiles are not authentically appropriate for mid century homes. For the most part, 4x4s were used although we do houses with smaller mosaics, usually squares, on the walls. For tile stories see >> https://retrorenovation.com/category/bathroom-categories/tile/

      – We have at least one story showing an original (we believe) Cindy curtain: https://retrorenovation.com/2018/06/11/anatomy-of-an-original-cinderella-bath-tub-curtain-in-carolyns-gorgeous-1959-pink-bathroom/

      – For design ideas, dive into the entire Bathroom category https://retrorenovation.com/category/bathroom-categories/ and also take a look at Time Capsule houses https://retrorenovation.com/category/all-about-the-era/time-capsule-homes/

      – And, be sure to Renovate Safe! >> https://retrorenovation.com/renovate-safe/

      Good luck with all!

  2. Missy says:

    Hoping for answers re plumbing set-up with a vintage tub!
    We have recently purchased a 1960’s brick ranch – custom designed by the original owner. In the main bathroom (and the only full bathroom) is a giant recessed tub – it kind of looks more like the American Standard pictured but it’s square & recessed into a tiled wall like the picture of the Köhler Mayflower. I had never seen a tub like this before!
    Now the problem is: the shower head, tub faucet and water control knob (I can’t think of the word) are on the far side. Yep. The corner that is the farthest recessed away from the edge. You either have to lean WAY out over the tub, which is super dangerous, more so for short people Or actually stand in the tub, in order to turn the water on and off. The drain is on the opposite corner – the near-side.
    I’m trying to figure out if that was normal design for tubs of this style or just a …unique…aspect of my bathroom done for reasons connected to the adventure of plumbing on a slab. The answer may affect what we ultimately do to renovate the bathroom (I like the overall style but it does need some fixing up).
    Thanks for any tips!

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Hi Missy, I am not an expert on this issue. When it comes to things having to do with safety, it’s best to consult with a professional.

  3. JuliaM says:

    My house was built in 1937 and the bathtub is still the original one. And it has a metal hook at one end that we assume was used to hold back the shower curtain 🙂

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