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Reproduction | Wash Basin | Pitcher & Bowl | Shaving Stands

Updated on February 27, 2013

Furniture with pottery pitcher and bowls predated the modern day bathroom sink and mirror.

During the 1800s and into the 1900s, in each bedroom you would find a table or dresser designed special for daily hygiene needs.

It would hold a large bowl to use as a basin and a large pitcher to pour water from.

The furniture would be designed with an attached mirror and dowel rods on the side to hold towels.

Some of the furniture items were as fancy and ornate as a complete dresser with a marble top to a simple stand.

Shaving for men would likely include another stand or a table top shaving mirror that would be adjustable between two post.

A drawer(s) would be built in to hold the shaving equipment, while the shelf above the drawer would hold the shaving cup.

Men used a straight blade shaver and a shaving cream soap that would be mixed in a cup and applied to the face using a shaving brush.

The stand would also include a place to hang a leather strap also known as a “Strop”. The leather strop was used to sharpen the razor blade, but as many know growing up in that era, the strop was also used for spanking the children.

Complete bathing was normally a weekly event that was done in the kitchen. A large tub would be brought in and filled with water heated on the cook stove.

Because the water was hand pumped and then heated, the family all shared in the same water starting with the parents down to the youngest child.

In between bath days the pitcher and bowl would be used to take sponge baths in the bedrooms.

To save a trip to the outhouse in the middle of the night people would use a chamber pot that was also made of pottery or granite coated metal.

What is rather amazing is that in those days was the amount of clothing that people wore in homes and at work with no air conditioning. Most of this clothing was very heavy using a lot of wool.

Today most people bathe daily wearing much less layers of clothing, well you get the drift.

These old relics have become antique collector items, some of them are being reproduced while others are still being used by the Amish.

Pictures, courtesy of Cottage Craft Works .com who carry the reproduction pitcher & bowls and furniture.


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