Published at Tuesday, 29 January 2019. Kitchen Faucet and Sink. By Thomsen Freja.
In the 1920s, plumbing fixture catalogs also mentioned earthenware sinks. These sinks had a base of solid ceramic, rather than cast iron, and were often enameled white inside and glazed brown on the exterior. Like the cast iron sinks, they came with either flat or rolled rims. Always heavy, they were more likely to be found in commercial kitchens and laundries. A ceramic material used in some reproduction sinks today is fire clay, which has a high melting point and is more commonly used to make fire brick.
Yes, soapstone and slate sinks were found in farmhouses, but probably not in the Midwest or on the West Coast. Soapstone is quarried exclusively in Vermont (although some today come from Brazil). Slate has more widespread sources, along the Appalachians in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Vermont, and Maine.
When you do find kitchen sinks at a salvage yard, they're predominantly the white enameled cast iron kind that graced a majority of kitchens from roughly 1900 to the 1940s. There were other materials used over the last century or so, but how do you know what's right for your old house?
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