What is the metal box near my sink?

nuts4fords6April 6, 2009

I'm buying a house that was built in 1944 and there is a metal box in the wall next to the sink? What is this? I was told it was an old tissue holder but I've yet to find any type of cover for it? Can anyone help me?

Thank you


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I am assuming the one on top of the sink spins around and has room for a cup, toothbrushes with skinny handles and a soap dish. Dixie cups, and ergonomic toothbrush handles pretty much rendered these obsolete.

The tissue holder on the wall is probably obsolete too because it was probably made for the flat/wide tissue boxes that stopped being made in the 60s or so. The cover was probably removed and lost when they could no longer get a box to fit in there.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 12:07PM
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What an unusual sink. (Am I the only one who thinks it looks like a urinal?)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 7:00PM
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I grew up in a 1930s home with one of those spinning boxes above the sink: actually very handy! And I just love your pink sink!!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 8:02AM
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worthy, it does kinda look like a urinal, doesn't it? Because of the porcelain backsplash & the very round shape, I think I bet it's because the house was built during the war; supplies were so scarce a urinal may have been adapted to be a sink by drilling holes & adding faucets.

Not to take away from your sink, nuts4fords6!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 6:07PM
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The sink, with its integral porcelain faucet and front mounted knobs with round or rectangular sink was a form of Deco or Streamline Moderne design. These sinks were made in a variety of pastel colors through the 1950s anyway.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 7:12PM
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The spinning box is indeed a tooth brushes and glass and soap holder. I removed one from my bath about 4 years ago.
As for the sink....where I went to college, in one dorm ( built as WAAC housing during WW II) there was a row of sinks like that in every bathroom. We called them "spit sinks" as they were good for tooth brushing but not good at all for washing out your stockings.
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 9:58PM
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Hope you don't mind. But I posted a pic of your curious sink on the antiques thread for further info. palimpset nailed the style.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:42PM
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A urinal...made me laugh. More like a stand up bidet...for men. LOL.

I like your sink. It has character.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 1:10AM
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From the sharp eyes on the other forum: an Eljer from the 1950s, popular in St. Louis, among other places.

Also found there: Retro Renovation.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 9:26PM
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Franklin Brass makes one, I am not sure of the dimensions:

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 9:38PM
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a stand up bidet...for men.

If sinks had genders, here's one for the distaff side.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 9:50PM
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