You can count on the rarity and popularity of original antique iron beds, by the number of companies that are reproducing them. You can also tell which beds were the most popular back in the 1800’s by the number of companies today that are replicating the same style.
It’s very unfortunate that a number of the better companies that reproduced beds in this country have gone out of business due to competition from companies that are out of this country that can produce the same bed at a fraction of the cost, specifically China. It is impossible to compete with Chinese companies because of their cheap labor force. Workers actually live in many of the same facilities that they work in. They have “company” stores and cafeterias that enable their workers to have no real needs outside the factory. Wages are a fraction of our “minimum wage”, and there are no unions to protect them. Health care is even taken care of by the company. Also the work day is between 10 to 12 hours a day and often 6 days a week. Our labor laws do not permit children under 18 to work in a factory setting. It’s not uncommon for children as young as 10 an 12 years old to be working in machine operated shops.
Because most of the furniture goods produced in China are for export. The quality is not always as good as those goods that are produced in this country that are held to a higher standard of quality control. A manufacturers reputation and business success is only as good as the product he consistently makes.
By the way…….there are some really good companies making iron beds today. So if you’re having difficulty finding an original antique iron bed……..check out some local home grown companies. Many of them even have great antique faux’ finishes to select from.
Remember…….Make sure the bed you buy was made here in the good old USA.