Dating antique bathroom fixtures?

jlc102482October 29, 2012

I recently bought an antique Kohler wall mount sink and an antique Standard toilet. Can anyone give me any information on how to date either one of them? I haven't been able to find any useful websites on that topic. Both fixtures are slightly different shades of mint green. The toilet looks quite a bit older than the sink, but unfortunately there is no date on the underside of the toilet tank lid.

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graywings123

Try looking inside the toilet tank above the water line.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 11:53AM
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jlc102482

There isn't anything there, but there is a printed line along with the words "water line" (how helpful!) is there any way to date the toilet or sink by looking at their shapes and handles, or is that too difficult? I'm afraid that after looking at old advertisements, fixtures from the 30s-50s look awfully similar to me. Maybe I'm just missing something?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 2:10PM
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chucksmom

There should be model #'s on the toilet lid and underneath the sink. If you google Kohler or AS there are charts that show when they were made. Mint green was hot in the 50's (I have AS from the 50's) but also was big in the 30's(I think) with pedestal sinks,etc. Try looking on retrorenovation.com or post the #'s you see and I'll try to see what I can find-that's if Sandy doesn't take out my power!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 3:20PM
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Fori is not pleased

Have you checked the Kohler potty timeline?

And I want to see pictures! My mint green potty is gone and the sink is rusty. :(

But maybe someone here can narrow own which mint green decade you have just based on looks. If it looks like my pink potty, we can label it 50s.

Is the AS labeled American Standard or American Radiator & Standard Sanitary?

Here is a link that might be useful: potty timeline

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 12:02AM
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jlc102482

fori- I'll post photos as soon as I can (tomorrow evening, probably). It isn't American Standard or Standard Sanitary, so far as I can tell - it just says "Standard" in an Old English-type font. I'll get those photos up as soon as I can!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 9:15AM
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Fori is not pleased

Oh dear. You made me look at my toilet. Mine is also "Standard" in the same font, and has the waterline mark (which is not even close to the water line. Oops.). But it also has serial numbers and dates stamped into the porcelain on the lid and tank inside (Sept 23, no year). It was installed in 1956. There's another, also same "Standard" tag that has different stuff stamped inside but might be newer (or lower end--it's plain old white). No water line help on that one.

Yeah, toilets are fun. I wish I had a minty one!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 12:48PM
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vjrnts

I wonder if the folks at Historic House Parts could help you if you sent photos. They sure have a lot of antique bathroom fixtures!

Here is a link that might be useful: Historic House Parts Bathroom Fixtures

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 7:27PM
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lov_mkitchenIOWA zone 6b

Go to the retro renovation site, look at the bathroom stuff there. If you can't find it, post a question. Everything at that site is mid century modern. Someone will know right off the top of their head which shade of green was put out in which year.

Here is a link that might be useful: retro renovation

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 7:35PM
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jlc102482

Ha, I should contact Historic House Parts - that's where I got the fixtures in the first place! They had their fabulous annual tent sale last weekend. We weren't planning on getting bathroom fixtures that day, but who could pass up a $25 sink? Thanks again for the suggestions, as always!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 2:14PM
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vjrnts

jlc102482, are you in the Rochester area? We are, and there are a couple more contributors to the Old House forum in the area as well.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 8:41AM
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jlc102482

I'm about an hour outside of Rochester, vjrnts, but that's close enough for me to haunt Historic Houseparts on a pretty regular basis! I love that place and feel so fortunate to close enough to shop there in person. There's another good salvage place near us in Buffalo called Buffalo ReUse. They don't have the really fancy salvage that Houseparts has, but you can find great deals on more ordinary stuff like molding, windows, hardware, doors, and floors.

Incidentally, upon very close examination yesterday, I found a date of 1948 on the toilet, and a date of 1968 on my $25 sink. They're not as old as I thought they were, but I still like them!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 12:02PM
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