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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cast Iron -- A Love Affair

The Early Iron Age, following that of the Bronze, is regarded as 1500 B.C. to A.D. 100, the period in our civilization when iron weapons and tools were introduced. Bronze was available only to the ruling classes; when iron came along it was available to everyone.

Cast iron is iron or a ferrous alloy which has been heated until it liquefies, and is then poured into a mould to solidify. SO  because it liquefies, it can be poured into molds and be mass produced, everything imagineable has been made of cast iron, weapons, tools, cookware, furniture, clocks, toys, nick-nacks, etc. It is still being manufactured today because of its flexibility and strength.

Victorian Mantle Clock
Industrial Pulley

Toy Truck

Outdoor Bench

This blog post is about cast iron collectibles from the Victorian Era and forward, of which there are many different catagories. Iron was used for everything imagineable because it was less expensive than other metals and extremley durable.

Wrought iron was fashioned by hand - heated, hammered, and beaten into forms. The transition from wrought to cast iron evolved gradually from increasing labor costs and a shortage of professional craftsmen who could rapidly turn out quality items in volume.

The 1830's through the mid 1850's has been called the "Great Era of Cast Iron". Victorians couldn't seem to get enough fanciful castings in truly intricate and beautiful patterns, using them indoors and out.  Thus a "Love Affair" began.

Foundries were hard pressed to supply innumerable neccessities while also trying to concentrate on the fancy appendages and furniture. Walls of kitchens were literally lined with cast iron cooking vessels. In the photo above an entire cast iron stove and fireplace built as one, with fancy iron trim surrounding.

Catalog page for furniture pieces
By 1845 cast iron building frames and bridges were produced. The cast iron furniture was made for both indoors and out and included lawn ornaments such as animals. Many castings represented classical Greek and Roman motifs, actual and mythological, flowing drapery, flora, and fona. Because of durability many of these items still exist today.

Cast Iron Pillars

The following photos are just to show you the variety of items made, some are practical items, some are decorative, and some were needed.

Match Safe

Grate covers

Window Grill


Tractor Seat

Lamb Food Mold

Water Pump

Shoe Stretcher

Mortat & Pestle
Bulldog Doorstop





Childs Toy Stove

Garden Urn

Fence Fenial

We always have plenty of cast iron items available for sale so come by and check us out sometime.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for nice sharing. You can also find best Cast Iron material at Laxmi Iron & Steel Industry. The main object of LAXMI IRON & STEEL INDUSTRIES is to provide best quality and cost effective Cast Iron. For more information Visit Cast Iron Earthing Pipe