Monday, 14 April 2014

Finding 1960s bathroom fittings

I am trying to find a simple little towel rail bracket for our bathroom. The original bracket has corroded and fallen off - it was only sitting in place with the help of soap scum I suspect!

1960s chrome towel rail in square profile and bracket.

I've already visited a couple of salvage yards in search of a matching bracket but it's proven fruitless. At one salvage yard, the old bloke just stared at me with an arched eyebrow and bemused look suggesting I was completely bonkers when I showed him the corroded bracket. Jeez, customer service is not going to happen in these bloody salvage yards...

Corroded chrome towel rail bracket
People throw out this kind of stuff, as it seems no one wants to retain original mid-century bathroom fittings. My tip for someone entrepreneurial is to start replicating or salvaging this 1960s stuff - in a few years time retro renos/restorations are going to be the next big thing...maybe for Generation Z?

It is a lot easier to track down fixtures and fittings for an old Queenslander than it is for a 1960s house I am finding. Who'd have thought it would be easier to find the 100 year old stuff than the 50 year old stuff?

I probably wouldn't have worried too much about it normally but it's just that we have two matching towel rails that are in great condition and we'd like to keep them rather than just replace. The profile of the towel rail is square and quite thick, so it's not like we'd be able just to buy a modern equivalent either.

Anyway, the search continues...And if one of you happens to find the matching bracket, you know how to reach me...OK?


  1. I would think you'd have good luck bringing the piece to someone who does plating work for boats, they may be able to just repair and rechrome the bracket.

  2. That is one beautiful towel rail! I agree with MM. I think you'll have to try and find someone to repair it. It would be well worth it. We have the most amazing taps in our mid-mod house but the vanity taps had been replaced in the main bathroom with el-cheapos when we bought it. Our plumber just sighed and said of the originals (still on everything else), "You'll never get anything as good as these" - but he went in search of them anyway; it was fruitless. We ended up with the closest thing - still not the same - but very good quality - and made do for now. I think we need to change the taps in the bath and shower to match the new ones, but I just cannot bring myself to take the originals off. My only other option is to replace one shower set with one of those big all-in-one shower taps (which I know were around in the 70s as my aunt had one that I could never get to work) and move those taps to the vanity.......... BTW, I don't think mid-century revival is the next-big-thing, I think it's the current-big-thing and someone needs to get on board with reproductions of the sort of things that are impossible to source like taps and towel rails and door handles. I gave up on ever finding the solid 'brown' (not sure if they're brass/bronze) D-handles for my cupboards (I have two originals - the rest had been replaced with brown plastic) and had to settle for chrome - which just don't look quite right; close, but not the real-thing. I won't give up the search, though.
    Good luck

  3. I agree with Mayfair Mistress. Your best bet may be to talk to a metal fabricator and then find someone who can chrome the new piece.

  4. Have you seen this website? It looks like there's a square towel rail if you scroll down the page and click on one of those little black and white pics

    They may be able to help



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