There are a number of different size iron bed tubing sizes. The two beds in this photo are the most prominent. They are the most traditional 1″ diameter thick wall tubing, the blue one, and the 2″ diameter thick wall tubing. The 1″ tubing was used on probably as much as 80% of all the beds that were made back in the 1800’s. It was a size tubing that was much easier to bend, curve and even scroll. The 2″ tubing was used more toward the later 1800’s and in to the early 1900’s and the Depression Era.
On both size tubing’s there was thick and thin wall. The thick wall was always more desirable because when constructing a iron bed, rigidity and sturdiness was always important, Thin wall tubing always gave a flimsier feel. Not a quality you’d want your every day bed to have.
Along with these two tubing sizes were some rarely used 1 1/8″ and even 1 1/4″ diameter thick wall tubing. Iron beds that used this size tubing were usually of a much higher quality than the everyday “pedestrian” beds of their time. They traditionally had more unique designs and castings and were some of the absolute best iron beds made. The absolute best beds I have seen or had were those with tubing between the more conventional 1″ and 2″ size, and always thicker wall industrial quality tubing.
Please don’t get me wrong. I have had some absolute “museum” quality beds that were manufactured using 1″ tubing. But the elite 1% beds were almost always made with oversized tubing of the 1 1/8″ to 1 1/4″ variety.
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