There was a time when there was such an abundance of antique iron beds, that you saw no reproductions on the market. As time went on and the original antique iron beds became more and more popular and they became picked over. The supplies became smaller and smaller as their popularity increased. Which led to modern manufacturers seeing a market for reproduction iron beds. As reproducers flooded the market with imitations, when the originals did pop up, their prices reflected their scarcity.
The biggest problem modern manufacturers encountered with their beds was that they were unable to make them in the same manner that the small independent foundries did back in the 1800’s. Pouring cast iron was no longer an option because it was way to cost prohibited. So modern reproducers decided to use a much cheaper metal that could easily be poured into molds, to form castings. That metal is Aluminum. It has a few draw backs that go along with it’s advantages. The long and the short of reproductions is that they are lighter and not as strong as original old antique iron beds. Reproductions have a much shorter life spam as oppose to original old beds which are now 150 to 200 years and possibly limitless.
Beds from the 1800’s have a unique hitch/siderail configuration that sets them apart from the low to the ground modern frames.Iron beds were originally design to be higher off the ground because of “drafts” and “rodents”. These beds were designed with tall headboards because of the side rail height of approx. 13″. Today’s modern reproductions are close to the ground, 5″. They are able to take advantage of the modern low Hollywood or Harvard bed frames which come with all the mattresses that are being made today.
Unfortunately most reproducers of metal beds tend to inject their own modern twist on already perfect designs. In doing so they’ve tampered with the originality and intended design.
Few reproducers made a more authentic product than Elliotts Designs. Elliott is a very close friend and over the past 30 years has duplicated some of the better beds I’ve come across. His attention to detail and his duplication of the original was second to known. For that reason he experienced a great deal of success and is to be very proud at those beds that bare his trade mark. Production of beds left this country and made it very difficult to compete with countries like China, Japan and Taiwan. The labor force is much cheaper. Elliott has since retired and is enjoying the fruits of an long prosperous and respected career.
So if you have the time…….search out an original old antique iron bed. You won’t be sorry you did.
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.
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