National Geographic : 1923 Oct
How lead serves in your home LEAD has never been prized for its beauty, as have gold and silver and other precious metals. With a reputation as one of the baser metals, lead has had few admirers. Yet lead today, because of the many services it renders, is to be found in homes everywhere. In the bathroom Lead is an important ingredient in making the glossy white enamel that covers the iron tub and basin and the glazed tile walls in your bathroom. The lead oxides, either litharge or red-lead, are mixed with several other materials and melted. This makes a molten glass which changes into fine white granules when plunged into cold water. A mixture of these granules and water is spread on the iron body of tub and basin and the casting is fired at high temperature. When cooled it presents the beautiful hard enamel surface with which we are familiar. On the dining-room table In practically the same way as lead enamel is put on the bath-tub, the potter uses white-lead, litharge, or red-lead to help produce the smooth, hard glaze on the fine china plates, cups, and saucers you have on your dining-room table. Cut glass bowls and dishes on your table are from one-third to one-half lead. Lead is in every room Electric light bulbs throughout your house are made of fine lead glass. Red-lead helps to seal radiator joints. Rubber stoppers in bath-tub and basins have lead in them. The hard rubber of your comb contains lead. On your desk may be collapsible paste and glue tubes made of lead alloy. If your table lamp has a shade of ornamental glass, the bits of glass are held to gether by lead-tin solder. Lead is in the hard rubber stem of your pipe. Your tobacco and your tea are often contained in heavy lead-tin foil to keep them. There is lead in the hard rubber case of your fountain pen. Lead on the walls All these uses of lead are interesting and im portant. But its most important use is as paint. Manufacturers use white-lead as the principal ingredient in the paint they make. Professional painters use a mixture of pure white-lead and linseed oil or flatting oil to save the surfaces they cover. Property owners everywhere are being rapidly converted to the necessity of protecting their houses with paint. The phrase, "Save the surface and you save all," is recognized as a truth. Use durable lead, in the form of white-lead, as your surface saver. Look for the Dutch Boy NATIONAL LEAD COMPANY makes white-lead of the highest quality and sells it, mixed with pure lin seed oil, under the name and trade mark of Dutch Boy white-lead. The figure of the Dutch Boy is re produced on every keg of white lead and is a guarantee of excep tional purity. Dutch Boy products also include red-lead, linseed oil, flatting oil, babbitt metals, and solder. More about lead If you use lead, or think you might use it in any form, write to us for specific information. NATIONAL LEAD COMPANY New York, 111 Broadway; Boston, 131 State St.; Buffalo, 116 Oak St.; Chicago, 900 West 18th St.; Cincinnati, 659 Freeman Ave.; Cleveland, 820 West Superior Ave.; Pittsburgh, National Lead & Oil Co. of Pa.. 316 Fourth Ave.; Philadelphia, John T. Lewis & Bros. Co., 437 Chestnut St.; St. Louis. 722 Chestnut St.; San Francisco, 485 California St.