310.457.1106     
ironbeds@cathousebeds.com

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
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So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
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So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
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So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been based in and around New Orleans. Because my specialty happens to be the sale, restoration and refurbishing of old antique iron beds, it’s probably the passion people of Louisiana have for the past and things like iron beds. Of every state in the nation, I have helped more people in Louisiana lovingly recreate the Victorian era in their homes and B&B’s. Although you’ll certainly find your share of modern designers in New Orleans and across the state…… they are definitely in the minority. Which is not the case the farther north you travel.

Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of New Orleans. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts. So it’s easy to see the appreciation the locals and designers have for their historic past.

The French influence throughout the design field in Louisiana is also thick with tradition, going back to the Louisiana Purchase , which was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803, of 828,000 square miles of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana. By 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city in the nation. The recreation of  that periods opulence is no easy task and takes a well schooled knowledge it’s history, architecture and materials.

Our hats go off to the preservation of the past that so many designers of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken upon themselves to undertake.

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage.
The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800’s by the manufacturer.
The castings are beautifully detailed Irish “shamrocks”. I’ve never seen or even heard of a bed having these before getting this one. Having been in this business for close to 40 years and having seen and sold thousands of iron beds….. that’s a real testament to it’s rarity.

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few.
It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A  “picker”, in Colorado, that I’ve been doing business with for over 30 years told me about it, and that when he got his hands on it, he’d let me know. It’s a “one of a kind” that came out of the leading brothel in Grand Junction Colorado. People such as Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday who died right down the road in Glennwood Springs, were known to frequent the house this bed came out of. Who knows who may have slept in it. But it was from back in the mid 1800’s. When the wild west was still actually considered wild.
The width, between the side rails,  is the standard 54″. But the outer curve, the likes of which I’ve never seen this large and pronounced, on any bed in the forty years I’ve been in this business, is 68″ wide….unheard of. The headboard is 6′ tall. I’ve never had a bed this impressive. The brass is beautifully integrated in to the overall design. Truly a “one of a kind”………….

Few people are aware of it, but just 10 miles Northeast of Boston, in Saugus Massachusetts , is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America. It only operated from 1646 thru approximately 1670. It included a blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter ton drop hammer.

The facility was powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

During the 17th century, iron was used to manufacture a number of indispensable goods, including nails, horseshoes, cookware, tools, and weapons. The production of iron required a complex manufacturing process that could only be done by an industrial enterprise. This process was not available in North America during the early years of English colonization, which meant that all iron goods had to be imported. As it took at least two months to sail to the nearest foundry, iron goods were very expensive.

Although the Saugus Iron Works never produced any iron beds, it was responsible for introducing the technical manufacturing technics that would soon be used in the Pittsburgh Pa area where iron ore and steel became responsible for building the city and producing the highest quality steel in our country.

Antique iron beds became popular and started showing up in the early 1800’s.

To this day I ship more of our iron beds back to the Boston area than I do to most cities in our country. I have to believe it has to do with the drive toward restoration and preservation of old historic residences that throughout the 1800’s were furnished with them.Saugus_Iron_Works_National_Historic_Site

Thank you to the Saugus Iron Works for being the first to introduce the production of iron materials in this country.

Up  2UpWish I had a buck for every phone call I’ve got from a distressed iron bed owner who tells me they just bought a bed, only to find out when they got it home and tried to set it up, that the side rails they got with the bed are “upside down”. As anyone who has assembled an old antique iron bed knows….. there is only one way the cast iron ends of the side rail will fit in to the “hitches” , that’s the cast iron receptacle that was poured around the outer post of the head and footboard, that the end of the side rail goes in to.  The tapered conical shape on the end of the side rail makes it impossible to go down in to the hitch except for one way.

What most people aren’t aware is that there were literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of small independently owned “foundries” that produced iron beds back in the 1800’s. Each one of those “foundries” made their own moulds for the end of the side rails. So although the ends on side rails look very familiar, they are not universally usable among all iron beds. The slope and tapered can be just slightly different, which makes it unusable on most other beds. So it’s first very important to be sure you have the correct side rails for your individual bed.

Nearly 50% of all the foundries making iron beds, made their side rails so they fit with the flat side of the side of the rail being on the top ( upside down). Back then they had metal spring units that use to attach with “clips” and sat on top of the side rail. The other 50% made their rails so the side rail was “L” shaped and would receive wooden bed slat’s to hold the springs, mattress etc.

When we have an “L” shaped side rail, we simply cut new wooden 2″ x 4″ bed slats and let them rest inside the “L” shaped side rail. We normally only do 3 slats. But…… when a bed has “flat top ” side rails, we cut the same wooden 2″ x 4″, but instead of going on top of the flat top rail, we place them under the side rail and drill 1/4″ holes through the iron side rail and directly through the wooden slat that is under it. Then we attach the wooden slat with a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is 2″ long. Then secure the bolt with a washer and nut. I’v attached a photo, so you can see what this looks like. If you do this in 3 or 4 places along the side rails, you won’t have to worry about your box spring falling through the rails.

Wedding RingThe dictionaries definition of Character  is the distinctive nature of something, the quality of being individual, typically in an interesting or unusual way, strength and originality, good qualities. What better way to define a beautiful old antique iron bed.

When I think about a beds character, I can’t help but think about what was going on around it in history, when it was being used. The majority of the antique iron beds I’ve had over the years, came from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Here is a very abbreviated time-line of some of the things that were taking place when these beautiful beds were being produced:

1808 – November – James Madison is elected President

1812 – War of 1812 with Britain

1815 – Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. 

1819 – Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers. 

1826 – July 4. Thomas Jefferson dies shortly after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence.

1835 – Texas declares independence from Mexico 

1848-The California Gold Rush starts

1850 – California Becomes The 31st state  , Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade , Republican Party Founded

1858 – 1859 – Theodore Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN

1859 – Oregon admitted as State

1860   - Nov.  6 – Abe Lincoln elected President 

1861- The Beginning of the Civil War  , First United States Income Tax

1865- The End of the Civil War,  Abraham Lincoln Assassinated , Ku Klux Klan Formed

1876 – First Practical Telephone , Internal Combustion Engine , The Little Bighorn/Custer’s Last Stand

1882- Gunfight at the OK Corral 

1885 – The Statue of Liberty

1891- Birth Of Basketball

1896 – First Modern Olympic Games

1899 – Aspirin is invented

1903 - WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT

I bet you’ll never look at another antique iron bed again without thinking what was happening in our countries history when the original owners were using it.

Sweet dreams………………

InvestWhen considering your future and investments that can give you the security few ventures can, especially the volatility of the stock market and trading in futures, you might want to drop some of your hard earned money in to antiques. Anything that was made in limited numbers. They can come from as recent as the early 1900’s. But the farther back you go and they few of an item that was made, the better return you’ll see on your money. They are also routed in Keynesian economics……. whereas “supply and demand” determine the price of an item. I’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over 40 years. When I first started, I was able to drive a truck up in to the hills of Pennsylvania and fill it with iron beds for maybe $200. to $300. for the entire load. That would be around 50 complete bed frame sets, with their appropriate side-rails. There were beautiful scrolled Victorian design that I’d only pay $25. for, that now fetch upwards of $3000. to $4000.

As our population has grown, so has the demand for original old antiques, such as antique iron beds. The thing that will, without fail, continue to drive their prices up and up is their scarcity and the fact that there aren’t enough to satisfy the demand…… and never will.

One of the reasons you see such an abundance of “reproductions” on the antique market, is simply because there aren’t enough “original antiques” to satisfy the demand.

I liken investing in antiques similar to investing in real estate. There is only so much land. It can’t be reproduced. Neither can antiques. There were only so many made. When all of them have eventually been purchase by collectors….. the prices will sky-rocket. And those who own them will be able to set whatever price they want. As we have seen through out history, there is always someone who will pay whatever it takes to secure what they want.

 

Picture 13:4 to king canopy There were three primary size iron beds being produced back in the 1800’s. They were the Twin…..usually measuring between 38″ to 42″; the double/full size that was very close to a standard/full of today at 53″ to 54″, and then the 3/4 size which varied between 43″ to 48″. For todays user, the Twin and Double/Full size of that era are the most widely used, because no alterations to width need to be done to accommodate our modern mattresses. But very few places cary 3/4 size mattresses. The other dilemma is “linens”…….try and find a set of 3/4 sheets…..good luck.
When we come across a 3/4 size iron bed, 9 times out of 10, we end up cutting it down to a much more popular and usable Twin size. On some rare occasions we have actually enlarged the to king width. I have attached photo’s of both adjustments. As you can see from the photo’s…… they styles being made in the 3/4 size certainly were pleasing. So it would be a shme not to recycle them in a more usable size.

Although American made in the mid-1800’s, the “Reverse Arch” beds styling had definite similarities to the most popular Asian architectural design homes and temples, referred to as the “Pagoda” . Most American made iron beds of that time were multi-arched “Mountain Top” designs, that arched up…..not down. These “reverse arch” beds have become increasingly rare because of the scarcity they were produced in. As seen in this photo, the castings on this bed have distinctive “floral” motif’s with Victorian influence.
When taken into account the percentage of antique iron beds that incorporated the “Mountain Top” styling or the straight horizontal top’s, “Reverse Arch” beds are really a style that never seemed to find it’s broader popularity of the times. Few iron bed styles experienced the lack of acceptance of the 1800’s era.
null

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’