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by Alan Knight

Image courtesy of dead-sea-cosmetics-shop.com

Imagine you’re wandering through the desert and see a picturesque clear blue lake in the distance.  Surely it must be a mirage, you tell yourself. As you walk closer you see people floating on top of the water and lying next to the shores of a desolate lake covered in mud. You also see salt formations that almost look like ice sculptures and you think this is completely surreal. Do not panic.  You aren’t having a hallucination.  You have happened upon the Dead Sea, the earth’s lowest elevation of land and one of the most mineral rich bodies of water on this earth.


The Dead Sea, located between Israel and Jordan was formed about 2,000,000 years ago after the land was repeatedly flooded by the waters of the Red Sea. Through geological changes over the millennia, the topography changed, causing the Red Sea to recede and a large creek to form where the water eventually became trapped. As the water flowed in from the surrounding rivers and streams, the creek grew over time and formed a landlocked sea.


Oddly enough, water does not flow out of the Dead Sea.  It’s only escape is through evaporation.  This concentrates the salt and minerals from the original seawater, making it ever more salty. The heat of the desert causes more evaporation and the process continues. Water flows in, evaporates quickly, and salt and minerals collect in the water and on the shores. (There’s so much concentrated salt and minerals that people who swim in it bob to the surface like corks.


The list of minerals in its water is long, containing everything from potassium, magnesium, bromide, sulfur, collagen, calcium, lithium, strontium and so much more. The salt content in the Dead Sea is about 31%, while the salt content in most of the earth’s oceans is closer to 4%. Due to the high salt and mineral content, no plant or animal life can survive there.  Have you ever seen a natural lake with no plants growing near its shore or fish swimming below the surface? However, it’s the same properties that won’t allow marine life to survive that provides people with many benefits.  The Dead Sea’s amazing healing properties have attracted people to this area for thousands of years.


Image courtesy of jacksonupperco.com
When Cleopatra learned of the health benefits of the waters and mud surrounding the Dead Sea it is said she built the first spa along its shores. History tells us she was a lover of indulgence and wanted to preserve her beauty and health. According to legend, she used the therapeutic properties of the mud and minerals as part of her own beauty regimen.


The Dead Sea has today become a mecca for wellness and health, with spas and treatment centers surrounding it.  People from all parts of the globe travel there seeking treatment for everything from skin conditions, to arthritis and many other ailments that can benefit from the natural minerals and salt in the water, mud and clay.

Who doesn’t want to turn back the hands of time? Sure, aging is inevitable but there are natural remedies out there that have been proven to delay the process or at least soften it. Sulfur helps to provide softness and smoothness while sodium helps to heal dryness. Manganese helps to promote a healthy glow. The Dead Sea contains all these in abundance.


Balneotherapy (In Latin balneum means “bath”) has been effective in treating many rheumatic diseases since Roman times. One of the therapies in the Dead Sea is to have patients bathe in pools of thermal sulfur spring water with mud packed the mud around the joints. Huge cisterns are placed on the shores of the Dead Sea so people can slather on its healing mud. These therapies have been known to aid in joint stiffness, reducing chronic pain to the joints, lower back and more.

The climate in this region is also a major factor in these treatment therapies. The temperatures in the area are uniformly warm with a low level of relative humidity. The oxygen-rich air, high barometric pressure and low content of pollen and other allergens provide the perfect climate for people suffering from rheumatic ailments. Many sufferers of asthma and other lung conditions have reported significant improvements due to this optimum climate for health.

The Dead Sea waters and salt contains many of the minerals our body needs. Magnesium can combat stress and help to calm the nervous system. Bromides aid in relaxing muscles and calcium is effective in increasing circulation and balances skin moisture. It’s amazing to think one body of water can contain all these essential elements that aid in keeping us healthy. The Dead Sea has all of these elements in abundance.


While it is quite an adventure and might be an item to add to your bucket list, you can enjoy many of

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these benefits in the comfort of your own home. Dead Sea salts, creams and mud masks can be purchased online and in many retail stores. All you need is a tub filled with hot water. Pour some of that salt into the warm water, light a candle and slather on some mud in order to enjoy the natural benefits of those healing minerals and salts can impart. Afterward, you will feel much more relaxed and rejuvenated whether you are using the salts for healing purposes or just wish to bathe like Cleopatra.

In this article, we have discussed some of the history of the Dead Sea as well as the healing properties of the waters and salts. There have been studies for centuries about the health benefits that come from this magical place. It is worth a visit, but the exciting thing is you really can enjoy the benefits to your health in the privacy of your own home. I think it might be time to take a bath!
 Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and my brother, Alan, who heads up Tub King, will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.
Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com. 

Traveling Tubs on the Wagon Trail

By Alan Knight

Photo Credit: www.peachridgeglass.com

It was 1867 in a small mining town called Denver, Colorado. With signs of winter fast approaching, the sun set at 4:30 p.m.and didn’t rise again for nearly 15 hours. With the thought of the long, cold hours that lay ahead, there was only one thing on the miners’ minds — whiskey! The hard-drinking miners knew they didn’t have enough liquid gold to make it through the winter, and this made them grow restless.

Determined not to face the harsh mountain weather without it, they hired a group of Irish Teamsters to transport 40 wagon loads of whiskey through the Colorado plains. To ensure its safe arrival, the US Cavalry was commissioned to escort the load. 

However, when a crusading group of women from the Temperance movementlearned of the shipment, they were furious. They formulated a plan to intercept and destroy the “evil cargo” on its way to Denver. Dressed in their finest Victorian gowns, they packed up their wagons and headed west for the 185-mile journey, singing as they went.
Image courtesy of fotolauncho.com
Knowing it would take at least a month of hard travel through dangerous territory, these ladies of refinement turned their wagons into little mobile homes. They packed every luxury their prairie schooners could hold. There were tables, chairs, linens and silverware, colorful rugs and lamps, even pianos and several bathtubs.
The Temperance ladies were committed to their cause. But they drew the line when it came to traveling without their washtubs.  And these were no ordinary tubs.  We aren’t just talking galvanized buckets. These traveling tubs were Victorian furniture, replete with intricately decorated modesty covers.  All these ladies had to do was slip into the tub while another one poured hot water through an opening at their feet.
Image courtesy of movpins.com
Meanwhile, several other groups became aware of the shipment and decided they, too, wanted a bit of the joy juice. Local Native Americans who were interested in easing the pain of an approaching winter sought to intercept the shipment.  To make matters worse, the Irish Teamsters began to grumble and soon decided to strike. Receiving word their precious cargo was in peril, the miners created a posse that headed eastward, ostensibly to recover their wayward shipment. With so many opposing parties looking to get their hands on the whiskey, the wagon train came to a halt … in the middle of nowhere. Inevitably, the women caught up with the whiskey wagon train as it made its way west, and demanded demolition of the alcoholic “mountain dew.” (BTW: To learn the fate of the whiskey wagon train, you’ll need to rent the movie, “Hallelujah Trail,” made in 1965 starring Burt Lancaster and Lee Remick.)


Early Bathtub History

Photo Credit: dreamstime.com

But in 1867, it wasn’t only women that enjoyed the luxury of bathing on the trail. It’s reported that the Bathtubs that existed during the antebellum period before indoor plumbing came into vogue were large but relatively light containers. They were usually hidden away and only pulled out when needed, perfect for on-the-road washing. The typical mid-19th century bathtub was a product of the tinsmith’s craft, commonly made from a shell of sheet copper, or zinc. The use of copper continued into the mid-1900s as a liner for wood-enclosed tubs. Commanders and officers of the US Cavalry also enjoyed some downtime relaxing in traveling tubs.

More commonly, tubs back then were steel-cased. By 1867, tub manufacturers started using cast iron, which had been used for several years for making sinks and toilets. The problem with metal was corrosion. Copper and zinc discolored readily around water and soap, and the seams of sheet metal were hard to keep clean. Iron and steel, of course, rusted eventually, even under the most meticulous coat of paint.  Bathtubs made of lead were only found in more progressive homes equipped with early water-heating devices. As running water became more common in the latter 19th century, bathtubs became more prevalent and less portable.

Birth of the Modern Bathtub

Photo Credit: brettcogburn.com

While some members of the US Calvary and the Temperance ladies were enjoying their high society tubs, the miners most often bathed in horse troughs, if at all. Bathing wasn’t considered a necessity by these hard-working men. In fact, personal hygiene was considered something of a nuisance. Over time, as bathing became more fashionable, more tub manufacturers entered the market and began improving designs. Out with the horse trough and in with cast iron bathtubs with porcelain interiors on “Clawfoot”pedestals. These tubs rose to popularity in the 19th century and remain so today.  

To combat the corrosion problem, tub makers began successfully marketing porcelain-enameled, cast iron bathtubs, a process that remains broadly the same to this day. Some modern bathtubs are made of acrylic or fiberglass; occasionally, waterproof finished wood. In addition to the advanced materials used in making today’s modern bathtubs, many new and innovative bathtub designs have entered the market.

Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.com

One such design is the Walk-in tub that is perfect for seniors. These bathtubs provide a great safety advantage to handicapped persons or those with limited mobility. Not only are these tubs highly functional, there is also a range of hydrotherapeutic options available. Walk-in tubs are perfect for everyday bathing needs, but importantly, they also provide personal safety and independence wrapped in therapeutic luxury.

Tub King’s cast iron/porcelain Clawfoot and Pedestal tubs as well as our therapeutic Walk-in Our tubs are made to fit in your bathroom. Or, if you want one for your covered wagon, we can hitch you up with that, too.

In this article, I first gave a brief historical account of the development bathtubs. I highlighted a story made famous by the motion picture, “Hallelujiah Trail,” about a skirmish between whisky-thirsty miners and Temperance-minded women of the Old West. It then goes on to talk about elegant cast iron/porcelian Clawfoot and Pedestal tubs as well as safety-minded Walk-in tubs.

If you found this article useful, please share it with your family, friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the Comment section of this blog. Thanks again for visiting with us.

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Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and my brother, Alan, who heads up Tub King, will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.

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Alan Knight has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also multi-award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. If you’d like to contact Tub King, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to Alan@tubking.com.

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Decorating the Bathroom in Your Log Cabin Home

The World’s Most Expensive Bathtubs

Bathtub Scenes in Horror Movies

By Alan Knight
Photo Credit: filmsite.org

It’s almost time for the Oscars.  The 87th Academy Awards ceremony is slated for Thursday, February 22, 2015.  Nominees for “Best Picture” include American Sniper, The Imitation Game, Selma, Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), The Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood, Whiplahs, and The Theory of Everything.  Out of all the possible choices there is not a single horror movie.  So I started wondering, has a horror movie ever won an Oscar?  Surprisingly, yes!

For Visual Effects and Make Up:  
The Birds (1963)
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
The Fly (1986)
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)
Photo Credit: thesouloftheplot.wordpress.com

Furthermore, The Silence of the Lambs won “Best Picture” in 1991, which featured spellbinding performances by Jodi Foster and Anthony Hopkins.

The Exorcist picked up “Best Screenplay” and “Best Sound,” although it garnered nine total nominations. The movie holds the distinction of being the first horror movie ever nominated for “Best Picture.”
One thing that I have noticed about horror movies is that some of the same props seem to recur over and over again.  The chainsaw, the axe, the knife, the sword, the meat cleaver are regulars, but have you ever noticed how man scary movies include a death scene or at least a scary moment in a bathroom, shower or bathtub? 
Photo Credit: 1428elm.com

Let’s start with the Alfred Hitchcock movie, Psycho.  I saw that movie at the theater … alone!  I don’t even remember how I got in to see it, being only 11 years old.  The current rating system was brand new back then.  I just remember when Janet Leigh had that shower curtain thrown back by Anthony Perkins and the stabbing began, I was ready to head for the exit.  It’s ironic that the next time I was that scared was when Janet Leigh’s daughter was running around the house in Halloween.

Other famous bathtub scenes in horror movies: 
Photo Credit: gallery.roborooter.com

Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The scene is set with a young teenage girl taking a bubble bath in a Clawfoot tub.  She begins to sing a lullaby and slowly puts herself to sleep.  That’s a big problem because Freddy Krugger comes alive in her dreams.  The razor sharp fingers begin to rise to the surface of the water as she sleeps, then suddenly her mother calls out to her, “Don’t fall asleep in there, you could drown you know.”  Then in a flash she is jerked underwater and the screaming begins.

Photo Credit: cinematiccorner.blogspot.com

What Lies Beneath (2000) Michelle Pfeiffer is convinced there is a ghost in the house, and as she takes a bath in a Clawfoot tub, strange things happen. Suddenly, she’s paralyzed, only able to move her toes, as the tub fills to overflowing.  She desperately tries to open the drain with her toes and everything goes wrong.  Suspense mounts as she finds a clever way to shut off the faucet, and the water slowly recedes below her mouth.  It was a very close call and a heart pounding moment.  A few years later, a parody was done of various scary movies and this particular scene was hilarious.

Photo Credit: youtube.com

Grave Encounters (2011) was a low budget movie that was a huge success at the box office.  It was about a team of paranormal experts who lock themselves into a haunted psychiatric ward in an abandoned hospital.  It was a real nail-biter.  The bathtub scene featured a girl in a hospital gown, standing over an old Clawfoot tub in an otherwise empty room.  As one of the technicians gets to the tub, he finds it full of blood.  He looks to the cameraman as a hand reaches out of the tub and pulls him under.  Creepy!

I can’t possibly go into detail about all the bathtub scenes in horror movies, but if you want to research it yourself, let me give you a more complete listing:
The Shining

The Changeling

Photo Credit: flickrhivemind.netflickrhivemind.net


The House of the Devil



The Tingler

Requiem for a Dream


Cabin Fever

Hostel II



The Lost Boys
Now, to the question:  Why are there so many Clawfoot bathtubs in horror movies?  There can only be one answer.  Think about it, when do you feel most vulnerable?
When you’re naked and all alone. 
Photo Credit: overstock.com

In a bathtub, we undress, get all relaxed, enjoying the warm water.  We lie back, placing our neck on a towel along the rolled rim and close our eyes.  What could possibly go wrong?  That’s why the bathtub prop works time and time again.  Just when you least expect something bad to happen, bingo!  The horror movies simply plays on our own sense of vulnerability.

Now, in the real world, Clawfoot tubs have nothing to do with the words “horror,” “terror,” or “scary.”  These beautiful creations of cast iron and porcelain are harmless vessels that bring both beauty to a bathroom and enjoyment to the bather.  Popular models would include the traditional Rolled Top, the Slipper tub, the Double Slipper, the Dual-ended and the Pedestal.  These handsome bathtubs come in many shapes and sizes and provide not only enjoyment, but added value and prestige to your bathroom.
Photo Credit: tubking.com
The only thing scary for some is the price. Make sure you compare prices from different suppliers.  There are several companies that import new cast iron/porcelain tubs and sell them to you in a wide range of prices. You don’t have to over-pay to get one of these beautiful models.  Usually, the better companies will run specials and include more choices, such as claw feet made of polished chrome, brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze.  There might even be a way to get free shipping.  

And don’t forget the hand-held faucet choices such as the “English Telephone,” or the free-standing models.  These can be purchased along with the drain system and the water supply lines.  These fixtures also come in the same finishes as the Clawfoot legs to make a perfect-looking match. 

The only other disturbing thing to beware of is buying one of these tubs in any material other than porcelain. The acrylic models (a.k.a., plastic) simply don’t hold up over time.  They have a tendency to lose their shape and eventually discolor.  They can really become a “monster” and you’ll not be happy with your buying decision.  Make sure you get a quality cast iron/porcelain tub with a long-lasting warranty.  Unless you drop and anvil in the tub, most cast iron/porcelain tubs will last for a hundred years.
Photo Credit: minimililsti.com

Also, don’t be scared away from making a buying decision.  If you have been looking for years for a way to truly beautify your bathroom, the Clawfoot tub might just be the answer.  If you’ve looked lately at one of the home magazines, you’ve most likely seen a Clawfoot tub.  These elegant-looking tubs make it easy to create a theme around your new tub.  When you have guests, they’ll fall in love with it.  And if ever decide to resell you home, this tub might just be the deal maker.  I’ve had several customers tell me that their Clawfoot tub helped to sell their home.

In this article, I talked about why bathtub scenes are so common in the horror movie genre, mentioning several famous horror films that had a frightening scene take place in a Clawfoot tub.  I then went on to explain that in reality, cast iron/porcelain Clawfoot tubs are a real asset to anyone’s home, and serve to enhance its value … as well as the owner’s pleasure in bathing in them.
If you found this article interesting, please share and forward it to friends and family.  If you’d like to leave a comment or question, please do so in the Comments section below.

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If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Or, if you’d like to receive a FREE Clawfoot Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.    
Have a question?  Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed below and I’ll personally get back to you. Thanks for reading; it’s my pleasure to share this information with you.
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Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com.

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Related Articles

Bathtub for a King

By Alan Knight
Photo Credit: comicvine.com
No king, either in secular history or biblical history, has ever surpassed the cruel reputation of Herod the Great.  He was appointed by Augustus Caesar to reign over the Jews in the ancient land of Judea, and did so for over 30 years, finally dying in the year 4 B.C.   

King Herod, with his megalomania, building obsession, and cruelty, was a notorious villain and remains so today.  During his life, he was so worried about being deposed, he had his own wife and three children executed for expected treason.  We’ve all heard or read in the Bible of the evil king that decreed the death of all male children, two years or younger, because he feared the rise of the King of the Jews.  According to the Bible, Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt to avoid the king’s edict.  
My wife and I have had the privilege of journeying to Israel and Egypt several years ago.  One of the points of great interest was the Herodium.  This was the location of King Herod’s principal palace, located on a mountain top just a short distance from Jerusalem.  This was also to become his burial place.  
Photo Credit: gush-etzion.org.il
Aside from his nefarious deeds, another significant aspect of Herod’s legacy is, without question, structural in nature.  Few of his undertakings were modest.  This is true in terms of size (his physical constructions were among the largest in the world at the time), architecture (Herod’s reign introduced innovations in fortification, build-quality, shape, and use), and sheer number of projects.  He was responsible for erecting many palaces, fortresses in Jericho, Masada, Herodium, and Jerusalem; aqueducts in Jerusalem, Herzilya, Masada, and elsewhere; the port and town of Caesarea (including the Hippodrome, theater, and temple); and the unprecedented renovation of the Second Temple.  Building things was how Herod earned the title of “Great.”
The renewed Israel Museum now houses many of the artifacts of Herod the Great’s empire taken from Herodium.   In 2013, the museum produced Herod’s Edifice Complex for the public to see.  The press title for the museum’s new and very shiny exhibit was, “Herod the Great: The King’s Final Journey.”
Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk
One of the priceless pieces taken from Herodium and representing Herod’s standards for the very best in structure was his ornate “bathtub,” made of alabaster stone. Back then, it was the stone of art par excellence.  Named after an Egyptian town where the stone was mined, it’s characterized by the crystal size (less than .05 millimeters) disposed in an intimate framework that confers alabaster’s translucency and compactness.  The first of these qualities provides alabaster with its characteristic beauty, the second, combined with gypsum’s low hardness, makes it extremely valuable and desired.
Today, Herod’s ponderous bathtub is perched on an original geometric floor.  It must have been some feat to lug that hunk of stone to the museum floor.  
The self-centered king lived large.  Inscribed jugs that once held imported wines especially for the king, perfume bottles that once held rare scents, and containers of pricey balsam oil, all speak to the opulence that surrounded Herod.
Today, tubs of incredible beauty can still be found.  Maybe not as heavy or rare as King Herod’s, but the look of these tubs draws immediate praise and establishes a note of opulence.  They are made of cast iron, and overlaid with rich, creamy-white porcelain.  Porcelain is made from the glass family and is literally sprayed over the cast iron at temperatures reaching 2,000°F. The porcelain can be broken, but with great difficulty.  It’s hardened to last a lifetime and beyond.  These porcelain tubs fall into two categories:

Antique Porcelain Tubs


Photo Credit: hardtopsofiowa.com
Unfortunately, the porcelain tubs that were manufactured in the U.S. a hundred years ago have almost disappeared.  You don’t have to be an archaeologist to discover them, but you do have to search.  They’re often found in pastures used as watering troughs, or as a huge flower pot.  Too often, they’re just left outside to rust and weather.  If you’re fortunate enough to find one of these, they’re usually in poor condition.  Many of these old tubs date back to the early 1900s.  They sometimes will have porcelain missing or have significant chips that require painstaking repair.  Also, one or more of the cast iron legs have probably been lost or broken.  Quite of few of the old tubs were thrown out when fiberglass became popular and have had to endure the weather for many years.  The heat, cold, and abuse can make them seem worthless, although some companies specialize in restoring them.  They spray a new finish on the tubs and they can become quite attractive.

New Production Porcelain Tubs


Photo Credit: reckonplumbing.com
Since foundries are no longer manufacturing these cast iron and porcelain tubs in the U.S., buyers have had to go to dealers who import them from foreign countries where they’re still made. These are reproductions of the antique ones, but you gain the advantage of newly cast tubs.  The porcelain is brand new, with the shine and smooth texture of ceramic.  You can find these tubs in attractive and useful designs, such as Roll-rimmed, Slipper, Double Slipper, Dual-ended, and Pedestals.  These tubs can make any bathroom look like one belonging to royalty.  These beautiful soaking tubs are purchased by those who want their home to look like a palace, without having to pay a king’s ransom to purchase them.   

Photo Credit: overstock.com
The pedestal tubs sit on a skirt or apron that raises the tub an additional six to eight inches off the floor, making it a true centerpiece of excellence.  The clawfoot-legged tubs sit upon the feet of designs emulating the feet of animals such as the eagle, bear, and lion.  The legs are made of chrome, brushed nickel and oil-rubbed bronze.  If you’re looking for something to really make your bathroom stand out, you needn’t look any further than today’s elegant cast iron and porcelain tubs.
In this article, I discussed many of the structures that the King Herod the Great had constructed in his ancient kingdom in Israel and Egypt.  In particular, I highlighted his ornate, large bathtub. I then went on to point out that today, people can still have a taste of regal opulence by installing a cast iron, porcelain clawfoot bathtub in their homes. 
If you found this article interesting, please share and forward. If you’d like to leave a comment or question, please do so in the Comments section below. 
Cast Iron, Porcelain Tubs Featured by TubKing
If you’d like to receive a FREE Clawfoot Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Or, if you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  
Have a question?  Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed below and I’ll personally get back to you. Thanks for reading; it’s my pleasure to share this information with you. 
Check Out TubKing’s Wide Selection of Cast Iron, Porcelain Tubs. Click Here.
Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800) 409-3375, (800)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com.
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