Henry Dreyfuss designed Crane sinks — how to tell if yours was made before or after World War II

Here’s more must-see-TV from our friends at Bathroom Machineries also known as deabath.com. These Crane Drexel bathroom sinks — designed by famous industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss — were super common before World War II through 1970. In this video, John (who also is my contact at deabath.com*) shows us how to determine whether your Crane Drexel sink was made before World War II, or after, from 1948-1970. Hint: It’s all in the handles.

John also reminds us: These sinks have an amazing provenance: Designed by Henry Dreyfuss, who was arguably the most famous industrial designer of the 20th century. Note the integral porcelain spout — cool. And, the lovely lines of the apron. These sinks are works of art.

1949 crane drexel sink
Henry Dreyfuss design 1948-1970 — dome handles are the only difference, otherwise the sinks are identical. This entire faucet still can be replaced.
Henry Dreyfuss design 1947 and prior
Henry Dreyfuss design 1947 and prior — cross handles and visible escutcheon. Safeguard your handles if this is what you have — there are no replacements

We also learn what the Pac Man handles are called — “dome” or “canopy” handles. Even more specifically: Temple Handles (must be a Crane-specific term), and deabath.com refers to them as Drexel handles. Above: 1949 Crane Drexel with post-war dome-style handles… and to the right, 1937 sink with the pre-war cross-handles — both pictures are from deabath’s website.

All of the parts to repair the post-WWII Drexel handle are available from deabath.com. But if you have the pre-WWII handle (with cross handle and visible escutcheon), safeguard these — there are no replacements, although you can get stems. I love these videos! There are now eight on youtube, and I am featuring them here, too. See my previous posting: How to install new escutcheons and handles onto a 1950?s vintage American Standard sink.

I love these videos! I love deabath.com — they really seem to know their stuff. If you have Crane… or need any type of parts for a vintage bathroom… or if you need colored bathroom fixtures… their site would be my first go-to recommendation.

*Deabath.com is a longtime advertiser on my site. But, this story is not part of the deal. Info on how I make money on the blog here.

Want to see more Crane eye candy ? See my 26-page kitchen catalog from 1953 here.

crane kitchen catalog

  1. Gary Schulz says:

    I have 1952 vintage Drexel faucet and drain on a Marcia sink. How do I remove the drain stopper to unplug the drain? Same question for the bathtub with shower over tub fixture and drain.

  2. Patricia Neske says:

    I pulled a pre WWII Drexel crane sink white out of a Moore house because the owner had grown frustrated with repairs. She didn’t have patience or understand that you couldn’t just patch one part of an old line workout replacing the other gaskets etc. so just has me install a pedastal sink. She wanted to toss it. I asked if I could take it I just need to fix the lines and replace a broken fork. Criss cross handles work perfect. What to do with it after? No idea.

    1. Deb Zak says:

      I have a 1950 Crane slant back double kitchen sink still in original shipping crate…is thete a market for something like this?

  3. David says:

    I have a Diana sink in good condition, except for a crack in the back of it. Anyone have a use for it? I’m in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  4. Joe says:

    I need to remove a Drexel. Is it mounted from the other side of the wall? I can”t see how it’s attached!

    1. pam kueber says:

      paul, we don’t do valuations here. the market is quite local – check craigslist and local salvage shops

  5. Terri says:

    Thank you for the vid! I now know that I have a pre-WWII Crane Drexel sink. It has the cross handles, I need to double check on the bell-shaped pieces (too lazy to look up the spelling). It was in use up until the 80s, when the apartments on the third floor of my building went derelict because of the roof. The question is now, can we remove it, restore the chrome, and reinstall it at my new mid-mod house.

    I also have the world’s most elegant and outrageous pedastel sink that I will be subbing a photo of and putting up in the forum before I move.


  6. IowaJoyce says:

    HELP! I’ve two bathrooms with white double enameled vintage sinks, upstairs is the slant back. The downstairs is flat, perpendicular to the wall. Some !E$$#@!! plumber (pre-me!) replaced the water spouts with standard chrome. What’s most amazing is that there are square spouts coming through a round hole…. UGLY!!! Researching this site, and the deabath, it appears there is supposed to be ceramic water spouts, but I can’t find any information on them. Even a round spout would improve the looks. Any ideas?

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