Published at Tuesday, 29 January 2019. Kitchen Faucet and Sink. By Thomsen Freja.
When our great grandparents first brought running water into their homes in the 19th century, they often pumped it from a supply tank, usually into bowls or buckets set in a dry sink and metal trough built into a wooden cabinet. Many of the first wet sinks, like dry sinks, were metal lined. Two of the earliest available materials, used for butler's sinks in wealthy turn-of-the-century houses, were copper and nickel silver (a copper, nickel, and zinc alloy often called German silver).
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.
So how do you decide between the many options out there? OHJ checked in with two readers—one of them a former editor on staff—to find out how they selected sinks for their kitchen rehabilitations, and the specific challenges they faced in getting them installed. But when it came to the sink, they realized they could go a couple of different ways. They could select a sink from the mid-1800s, the house's early timeframe, or one dating to the year they had documented the installation of indoor plumbing on the house, which was 1948.
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