Although production of cast iron can be traced back to 550 B.C. China, by pouring hot raw iron into molds which shaped the metal. In the early to mid-1800’s, the center of steel production in this country, was in Pittsburgh Pa. Due in large part to the iron ore that was being mined throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. So it was most convenient because of the proximity to the materials needed to produce iron beds, for small independently owned foundries to locate themselves close to this readily available source. It was far easier to send a wagon on a day trip to the city to acquire the tubing and raw iron, needed to melt and pour the castings, than stockpile a large amount of those materials. There were hundreds, and possibly even thousands of small independently owned foundries, producing beds, that employed as few as two or three men, and sometimes only produced a couple of beds a day. That’s why iron beds, like this have become so collectible and rare, and why there is such an incredible variety of styles and designs. Although some smaller foundries would sometimes use the designs from the more popular established bed builders of their day…….. they usually prided themselves in original designs. Thus giving us, what seems to be a countless selection of original antique iron bed designs.
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