Over the years plain Austere iron beds have often been referred to as “hospital beds”. The reasoning for that is quite simple…….. many of them were. Straight “soft shoulder” beds with straight interiors were a perfect bed frame for the continual use that a hospital bed receives. So it was surprising when I came across this particular vintage photo, of a iron bed that was being used in a military hospital, that wasn’t a “soft shoulder” design. As you can see in the photo, the corners have round finial balls. This is the first time I’ve ever seen such a bed used in a hospital setting.
What struck me as funny , is that I’ve actually had this exact style bed in the past, and never thought it was used in a hospital setting. It seemed to have a little bit too much styling to be used in such a sterile atmosphere .
Another fun twist, in this photo, is the American Flag in the background being held up by what would appear to be two early navy men. The flag has 36 Stars on it, which places it in te Civil War Era between 1860 and 1865.
On the ceiling, a light fixture can be seen hanging. If you know what to look for you can see that its a gas fixture…… not electric. That fixture was also being used in the late 1860’s, which helps to day the photo.
Dating iron beds can be difficult unless there are background items like this one has, that can be used to easily date them.
I hope you’ve found this blog informative . I invite you to revisit my website
to answer any and all questions you might have about antique iron beds.
I also invite you to take a look at our company Face Book page for multiple photo albums on Custom Finishes, Canopy Conversions and a comprehensive “Before & After” King Conversions album.