As strong as iron
Metal design underwent its most rapid development in the 1920s and 1930s. The metal with the greatest effect on the design and manufacture of products was aluminium. Aluminium, extracted from bauxite, became available at a commercial scale mainly after the Second World War because of the availability of cheap electricity. Aluminium was the solution that industry had been looking for since the nineteenth century: a new metal that combined the strength of iron with the conductibility of copper. The precursor of aluminium was stainless steel, which was developed at the end of the 1920s.
In the Netherlands the leading companies experimenting with machine fabrication of metals such as tin, aluminium and sheet steel were Gerofabrieken in Zeist and Metaalwarenfabriek Daalderop in Tiel. Towards the end of the 1920s they had achieved excellent results, but several English, French and German companies were much more advanced. In the early 1920s the Wurtembergische Metalwaren Fabrik was already experimenting with the production of stainless steel, then called ‘Cromargan’ because of its high chromium content.
The metal holder contains a simple porcelain teapot by Bauscher of Bavaria. Bauscher porcelain was established at the end of the nineteenth century by the brothers August and Conrad Bauscher. Initially the company produced white porcelain exclusively for the hotel and catering industries.
Bauscher, double-walled teapot,1930, collection Het Nieuwe Instituut, lent by BIHS.