Help me find a book about faucet design.
October 11, 2006 8:58 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a book about faucet design.

I don't know if anything like this exists, but a search on turned up nothing. I basically want to find out more about what styles of faucets and showers, etc . . . have existed in modern times; say the lasy 100 - 150 years. A book that covered interior decorating with a lot of faucets would be okay too. Anyone know if anything like this?
posted by [insert clever name here] to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
There are a gazillion books on remodelling/redesigning bathrooms and kitchens which I assume would have lots of photos. Search for "bathroom remodel" or "sink remodel" or similar phrases. I don't know of a history of faucets type book, however.
posted by dobbs at 9:02 AM on October 11, 2006

Response by poster: That's been my problem so far. Tons of books on remodeling. Not so much on different styles of different eras, except in the most general sense (example, a modern interpretation of an "art deco" room).
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:39 AM on October 11, 2006

you might try:

Maureen Ogle. All the Modern Conveniences: American Household Plumbing, 1840-1890. Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology (n.s.), no. 20. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996. xii + 191 pp. Ill. $39.95.

The review I read on it stated that there were no illustrations, but it may give you some futher bibliographic pointers. Or, you could use Amazon's "look inside" feature to see if it has anything of use.
posted by Chrischris at 10:02 AM on October 11, 2006

The Bathroom, the Kitchen, and the Aesthetics of Waste covers the development and history of said rooms, with an emphasis on design theory. I don't remember anything in the text specifically about faucets, but there are plenty of illustrations.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:41 AM on October 11, 2006

Response by poster: I've updated my search, but with very little idea where to start looking. Any idea where to find old catalogs (from about 1880 on) that contain things like faucets, showers, kitchen and bath sinks, etc . . .?
posted by [insert clever name here] at 12:29 PM on October 11, 2006

Best answer: Now that I'm home and I've got my copy of The Bathroom, the Kitchen, and the Aesthetics of Waste in hand, I can tell you that it has a lot of pictures with faucets, but they aren't the main focus. It could be useful for a time reference of when certain examples were in use. You might like the chonology of water and waste systems that spans the 1790's to the modern day. Reading stuff like how the popularization of germ theory shaped the design of bathroom fixtures might also provide some context.

Paging through the book gave me another idea. It's got a reproduction of the logo for The Plumbers Trade Journal from 1906. Googling that brings up some leads, including ebay. Have you enlisted a librarian? I bet there's a good collection of trade journals and catalogs out there.

Kohler's Design Center has a basement full of historical displays--it's part of their factory tour (which is a lot of fun). Maybe they have a company historian/archivist? Maybe Moen does too?
posted by hydrophonic at 7:26 PM on October 11, 2006

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