The history of the Iron Bed
Originally used by the Chinese, cast iron furniture was made popular in 550 B.C. In the 18th Century there were numerous small foundries in the East and even as far west as Chicago. In this era workmen were renowned for the great pride and care they took in their designs. These workmen could take days making a single foundry.
From the 1850’s until World War I, iron beds were hand made and became very popular in the West. The manufacturing process involved hand pouring and polishing intricate detail in the castings, as well as hand applying finishes. Due to the variety of finish the colouring could range from white to a spectrum of colours, and with such a meticulous method used to make each bed frame, there were never duplicate designs.
Post World War I, the mass-production methods created for war time affected the iron industry too. Hand-made quality was traded for time and cost-effective quantity. This sadly caused many of the smaller foundries to shut up shop, and in the end left the proud workmen who cared about finely-detailed, meticulously-finished iron beds, defeated.
September 29th 2009