What could old steam locomotives and antique iron beds possibly have in common? Well the first thing that comes to mind is they’re both made of cast iron.
The same foundry and smelting process that made iron beds possible, also brought us the iron rails that the great steam locomotives road on. It also gave us the technology that was needed to build those early steam locomotives.
Iron beds had been around long before man had built the railroads that would help man move and settle the west. That ability to move west in such an efficient manner also enabled the proliferation of furniture and items such as iron beds , west of the Mississippi.
Up until the railroads were laid, shipment of iron beds was problematic at best and was pretty much restricted to the surrounding area from which the beds were produced. That’s one of the reasons there were hundreds, maybe even thousands of small independently owned foundries that produced iron beds for the local towns in their area. Horse drawn wagons were some of the earlier means which foundries used to deliver their beds. But as trains started developing, the distribution of heavy metal beds became much more wide spread.
So as the popularity of the train grew…….so as did that of our heavy metal bed frames. Up until the train tacks were laid, opening up the path to the west, the last thing a horse drawn wagon would haul west was an old heavy metal bed. Up until then man had to be content with chopping down a local tree to build a wooden bed frame. Things like “mirrors” and house hold items that were factory produced in the east, were extremely rare in the west, because of the problem with transporting them. But “trains” solved all that and the “west was won”, and prospered because of the train.
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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