24 pages of vintage bathroom design ideas from Crane — 1949 catalog

Crane-bath-fixtures-catalog-cover-1949Who 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:

retro-Crane-bath-fixturesOne 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?

retro-crane-bathroom-blue-and-yellowHere’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.

retro-crane-bathroom-peachInteresting 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.

vintage-crane-bath-fixtures-pink-and-green-bathroomHere’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.

Vintage-bathroom-Crane-fixturesThe bathroom above includes the wonderful, rare and elusive “dental sink” — read more here.

retro-vintage-blue-and-plaid-crane-bathroomLook at this color scheme — rust and gold plaid wallpaper and flooring, light blue tiles and purple accents — wow.

vintage-white-and-blue-bathroom-crane-fixturesThis bathroom looks very formal to me. Interesting to see 1″ tiles used on the counter top and floor, paired with 4″ tiles on the wall.

vintage-orange-and-yellow-bathroom-Crane-fixturesHands 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.

vintage-green-and-white-crane-bathroomHere’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?

Crane-vintage-faucetsThe catalog also has a “trim” section — which seems to mean faucets.

retro-crane-wall-sink-with-legs-whiteThen there are tons of charming illustrations of the Crane fixtures — like this wall sink with legs and a built in porcelain faucet. Crane sinks were famous for this integral faucet.

vintage-crane-wall-sink-whiteDoes anyone else see faces in these sinks? They have such personality.

vintage-crane-wall-sinks-on-legsAll 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.

Tips to view slide show: Click on first image… it will enlarge and you can also read my captions… move forward or back via arrows below the photo… you can start or stop at any image:

  1. Whitney Treseder says:

    Hi, I have a 1950s Standard sink that looks just like the Crane one you call a wall sink with legs and a porcelain faucet. We don’t have the legs, though, and were wondering if you know a) where to find replacements or b) how to attach the sink to the wall? I can’t seem to find a picture from the side that would give me an idea about the bracket or cleat used. Thanks for your great site!

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Hi Whitney,

      Regarding finding the right brackets and getting instruction, my go-to place to start would be deabath.com.

      Also, they have chrome sink legs (plus read reader comments, there might be more suggestions there): https://retrorenovation.com/2008/10/01/chrome-sink-legs-and-brackets-for-your-wall-mount-sink-from-deabathcom/

      And, I’ve done other stories on chrome sink legs (ditto check reader comments) – https://retrorenovation.com/?s=chrome+sink+legs

      Good luck

  2. Rosie says:

    Have a corner, 1930, Crane bath sink, had it reglazed. The company removed and discarded all the faucets, drains and inners. Any source for replacements. Desperate. Thanks.

  3. Steve says:

    I brought home what looks to be a mini Cindy . Its in excellent condition. I,m looking for a good home for her. It requires me to move my toilet and that’s to expexpensive. I’ll accept a reasonable offer.

  4. Kim says:

    Could you please tell me if there is touch up paint available for my yellow american standard sink.
    My house was built in 1964. I can send you a picture if that would help.

  5. Maureen Topa says:

    Hello all,

    Moving into a 1948 cape house in Maine this coming week. The bathroom is sadly not original, but I would like to – in the coming years – get it as close to original as possible. Here’s my question…

    Is the style of rooms – such as bathrooms – basically the same regarding the year it was built – regardless of the style of house? I’m just not sure if a 1948 bathroom in a ‘cape’ would be the same as a 1948 bathroom in a ‘ranch’ or a ‘colonial’…do they differ?

    Thank you so much for any help!

    1. pam kueber says:

      They would likely be the same. Start diving into our Bathrooms category — tons of resources and ideas there.

  6. Britt says:

    Thanks for the tip about deabath. Unfortunately they don’t have any images of crane faucets anywhere like mine. Your site doesn’t either, btw, is it because I’m in Canada? Did they have separate lines? I’ll stop bugging you now.

  7. Britt says:

    I don’t suppose they have cleaning instructional manuals for this stuff? My crane faucet in the green bathroom (more avacado than jade, sink, toilet, mirror) is almost impossible to clean between the spout and the handles even with a toothbrush. It’s also leaking, but I found the page for that, I think. The blue bathroom is a whole nother story.

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