ancestral fixtures

This swarthy gent is my Great-Great Grandfather, Wm S Cooper.  No, I never met the man, smart-aleck.  It looks like if I inherited anything it was his eyes.  It certainly wasn’t the ability to grow facial hair.  Mr. Bill did quite alright for himself; traveled from England and landed in Philadelphia in the mid-1800’s where he started a brass works company.  Quite a fancy one too.  Now before you go checking your brass candlesticks that have been passed down through the family for a Cooper insignia, let me be specific about Grampy Bill’s speciality…

Yes….plumbing fixtures.  Of all types.  In fact I recently found one of the items pictured on the left on an online auction where the starting price was $2,000.  They must have been made out of…well…brass.  Only the finest of Philadelphia families could afford to shell out the $60 to have a Cooper fixture installed (go ahead…get all your Cooper Crapper jokes out of the way).

Just think, if you are ever visiting friends who live in one of the stately old mansions on the old Main Line in Philadelphia and you use their bathroom, you may be sitting on a Cooper.

This little gem is the Cooper Turkish Bath Needle Sprayer. Sounds like fun doesn’t it???

I didn’t think about this until just this second.  Today is my Grandfather’s birthday, the grandson of the man pictured above.  There was some sort of cosmic force compelling me to create this post today (Twilight Zone music here).  He would have been 114 today – I think.  My sister would know the exact year but I think I’m close.  Happy Birthday PopPop.  I really miss you.

Nana & PopPop Cooper – Xmas time 1959. What a smoothie….



Filed under family

12 responses to “ancestral fixtures

  1. that’s actually pretty cool. then again i loved the book i read a couple of years ago….about the history of plumbing. hey, if you’re still mildly embarrassed you could tell folks grampy was a craftsman of thrones.

  2. did i just miss something the first time around or did you just edit while i was commenting? in any event. that’s a sweet pic of your grandparents. good pop-pops are a blessing. glad you have happy memories of yours.

  3. Do you know how much I love this? Well I do. To have that kind of history and connection … wow! What a treasure 🙂


  4. Ahhh, that subconscious is a strange and powerful thing, is it not?

    I love the pics, pretty awesome to have the details about your family and the photos to go with it.

    Turkish Bath Needle Sprayer??
    It looks better than it sounds.

  5. If I wouldn’t get caught, I may off somebody for Nan’s dress!

    • too late…by about 25 years. but she was a snazzy dresser….

      • Damn it! I still have a smidgeon of “The Lois Collection” as my bro calls it. I wore Gram’s frocks in the 80s…course I could get away with it being a true punk lolita (DIY/ deconstruction, reconstruction, create your own cos all you’ve got access to is others’ trash!). Your gran had a lovely piece there.

  6. That is really cool to have all that info about your ancestors.
    That Turkish bath is awesome… I want one.
    What a lovely photo of your grandparents, thanks for sharing.

  7. Sandra Kennedy

    We have one of those “thrones”. In complete and functioning condition. It was originally installed in the hotel which stood on the site of the McDonalds on Colorado St. In downtown denver. It is now installed in Mosier, Oregon!! come on by and use it sometime! We checked several years ago and there is a matching claw foot tub in New York, cost? $6,000 plus shipping.

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