Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The "art" of Tin in the Victorian era

Everyone knows about tin ceilings and more informed people may even know about the use of tin in commercial storefronts in the Victorian era, but do you know about "tinstone'?

The owners of the Second Empire cottage across the street from ours have a rear walkout that was added after the original weekend cottage was built, probably in the late 1890's. They have been removing the old 20's siding added to almost every house in our neighborhood (must have been a really good salesman). Anyway as they removed the old 20's siding and exposed the original they came across an unusual, and intact, find. Under the old siding on the lower level was the original "Tin stone' siding.

The Victorians were very ingenious people  and were always looking for ways to 'make do' if they couldn't afford something more expensive. Local tin smithers developed Tin in a variety of shapes and styles including brick, slate roofs and as we see here stone. As they say, timing is everything, and in this case the original tin must have been in good shape when it was covered because it actually is in good condition. Holes are being filled and it is being repainted with a good rust inhibiting primer and may eventually be 'faux painted so it more closely approximates the stone foundation.
W.F.Norman still  makes a version of this  'tinstone"
In case you are thinking "what a great idea", this product is still available. the W.F.Norman company:  http://wfnorman.com/about still manufactures it as well as a brick version and a roof version. You have to wonder if somewhere in some old warehouse in Cincinnati the original dies are sitting for this particular version?

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