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Robert just completed this Speakman Shower Head

Robert just completed this Speakman Shower Head


The Crew

The Crew

2012 Official Crew Photo – Talk Like A Pirate Day! AARRGH! Antique plumbing is hard business and it is important not to lose sight of the occasional recess. We honor the Talk Like a Pirate Day by offering a 10% discount to any customer who comes in, makes a purchase and of course, talks like a pirate! Today only (9/19) and some restrictions apply. Plank walking optional. Visit us at

Adventures in antique plumbing

Summer is winding down, but the visitors to the Mother Lode continue to make Murphys, Ca a destination.  And why not? The summer concerts continue this week at nearby Ironstone Vineyard Amphitheatre with Tony Bennett and Jackie Evancho, there are at least 18 wine tasting rooms here on Main Street, and of course, our world famous retail storefront, DEA Bathroom Machineries!  Woohoo!

Folks wander in here (intentionally or not) and it is really cool to see eyes light up with a “Geez, I’ve been looking for that!”  “THAT” could be the little stuff like glass door knobs, a skate key, a neat little porcelain tub soap dish or a big ticket item on the bucket list like a complete clawfoot tub with shower conversion.  Heck, we can even throw in a “Do Not Disturb” sign with that one.  Be sure to visit our website at to see some of what we offer.  Of course, if you are in the Central California area on your way up to Tahoe, the ski areas, or one of the many lakes around here, be sure to stop in and say “hi!”

Plumbing and destructive children

We hear this all too often!  My kid (grumble, grumble) dropped/hit/kicked/climbed up on our priceless antique pedestal sink/toilet/tub.  We are here to help (and sympathise).  My own daughter (known as the “Peanut of Destruction”) has, in 7 short years, taken out 1 1950’s Standard Cadet toilet, plugged the 1950’s Crane Oxford when Barbie needed to take a swim, and damaged innumerable doors, trim and other pieces of furniture throughout my 1950’s bungalow. 

Just today, we got a e-mail from a customer looking for a 1920’s vintage Durock tank lid after the 3 year old twins decided to take a look inside the tank…  Ouch!

I’m seriously considering making bubble wrap suits for the kids to protect the house….  but then there’s that whole breathing thing.  Eventually we’re going to run out of 5 panel doors and antique lids.  Sure, the kids are cute, but….

How does one fix this?  Got any ideas?  E-mail us at and tell us your story!

Lydia 2.0 toilet coming along

Hello to all the vintage plumbing freaks out there!

Work on our second version Lydia toilet is coming along!  We finally received photographic proof that the mold is done, and samples are being prepared for our inspection when we are in China during the next few weeks.  From the pictures, things are looking good!  Take a look at the tank!

The tank is fresh out of the mold, and has not been either glazed or fired as of yet.  Still, we like what we see.   We’re not seeing the slumps and warps that plagued our earlier Lydias.  It’s disheartening when one has to throw away 2/3rds of a containerload of porcelain.  These look to be far better!

Here’s the bowl;

Sure, one can see the seams, but that gets rubbed out before the toilet gets to the kiln.  The things we’re worried about are sags and cracks, and those are not apparent.  If it flushes as well as it looks, we will be happy campers!

By the way, we have a secret!  We’re currently working on a prototype urinal based on a 1940’s design.  This particular urinal has not been made since the early 1960’s, and whenever we get one, it quickly sells.  Here’s a picture of the last one we had;

We’re hoping to have these in production by mid 2012.  Cool, huh?  Stay tuned, we’ll post more as we get the info!

“Almost” only counts in horseshoes!

…and hand grenades!

Hi folks!  Today’s lesson is about using a tape measure or other device to determine a measurement, and then relaying that information to your friendly (not psychic) antique plumber.   Sure, pictures are great, and we can often identify the maker from a photo, but holding a tape measure behind the item at an off angle really does not help.  What you need to do is actually read the tape and then relay that information to us. 

There are many different types of measuring tapes out there, so first you need to determine which type you have.

This particular tape is both metric and standard, that’s that the “SAE/MM” means on the side of the tape.  Use only SAE (inches) when you are sending measurements into us, as we are all old and didn’t play well with the metric system.  When looking at your SAE tape, you will see a whole bunch of lines.  This is because a measuring tape is divided into various segments.  Some tapes will have more lines than others, it just depends on the configuration of the tape.  Most are in 32ths of an inch, which means there are 32 little lines marked on the tape for every inch.  Yes, we expect you to count all those little lines.  Stating ” it’s two little lines past 1/2″” does not help, as we do not know if your tape is in 32nd’s of an inch, 16th’s of an inch, or something else.

When measuring stems, (or other round objects), you want to measure across the widest point.  Here again, don’t hold a tape near the stem and send in a picture of it.  We cannot tell (again, we’re not psychic) down to the 32nd of an inch from a blurry photo that was shot off angle.  We need you to do your homework…..  Yes, all that stuff you allegedly learned in fifth grade actually does have a use.

Yes, we are here to help, but our help can only be as good as the information you supply us.

All for now!

Who would have thought

Who would have thought that American plumbing fixtures were a sign of wealth in Australia.  We just finished up a containerload of 1950’s vintage bathrooms for shipment to Australia where they are to be installed in an unnamed, rather well off, person’s Mansion.  Everything was fully restored, and consisted of 7 bathrooms in period colors. 


Many different period colors were used, so just imagine the fun and frustration of locating MATCHING 60 year old fixtures in pink, blue ,and green.

We spent the better part of a year traveling the West Coast seeking these beauties.
blue Crane Drexel

And then many more hours going through them to make sure everything worked and looked perfect.  Then, one day the container showed up, we had two hours to hand load the thing, and away our toilets went, on to a new life with a famous rear warming their seats….

Here’s a hint to those who found similar wonderful old fixtures at their local architectural salvage place.  There’s a reason it’s there!  The parts may not be available to fix it!  Beware the Jabberwocky, my son!

All for now!