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1940s Bathrooms

1947 Pink & Green Bathroom by American StandardHome improvements, especially bathrooms with all their metal fittings, were often sidelined during World War II. So many materials like copper and steel were allocated to the military that, even had they been more available, many Americans would have heeded the call to sacrifice anyway.

With the German surrender in the spring of 1945, the optimism rose substantially and even before the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, victory was in the air. Publications that had earlier touted War Bonds and supporting the War effort turned their marketing to a public that was more than ready to spend those savings bonds.

Despite the end of the War and the tangible sense of empowerment winning that war engendered, there was a period of tremendous volatility the second half of the decade. As veterans returned and began to claim GI benefits, housing for young families just starting out was in short supply.

Millions of small, post-War cottage homes often in a Minimal Traditional style were built across the country and every single one of them had a bathroom. The style of these bathrooms were essentially unchanged from the 1930s — that is, most homes were still built with a single bathroom which had a sink, bathtub, and toilet. The flooring was usually tile or linoleum.

It would be the 1950s before most bathrooms began to reflect the prosperity and increased size of the post-War boom.

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