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Historic Tile

The History of the New York City Subway

It's no secret that we love the New York City Subway. The history, trains, and stations have long been an inspiration to architects and designers around the world, and its classic subway tile has been a blueprint for our very own Subway Ceramics collection. With over 1 billion people riding the system each year, it has become the heart of New York City and a major influence on American design.

Tile for the Times

For over 40 years, "sanitary-ware" was virtually ubiquitous in American bathrooms and kitchens. Why? Well, the name itself is a give-away. The flat surface, pencil-thin grout lines, and the gently coved inside and outside corners gave every surface that easy-to-clean quality.  A true invention of Victorian-America.

About Timeless

Times change. And you can find those changes preserved in the tile of the times. An essential element of our built environment for the last 120 years, American ceramic tile has demonstrated a unique ability to adapt and innovate to create new forms, new fashions, and new solutions to the meet the architectural challenges of the day.

About Timeless

Once It Was White

White, and pretty much only white, was the norm in America's turn of the century kitchen and bathroom tilework. In fact, what we now generically call "subway tile" was originally referred to as "white ware". It was only in the 1920's that color broke through the Victorian constraints, under the influence of the Art Deco and Craftsman movements.

White subway tile

That America

Putting aside the current debate, we can all agree that 100 years ago, America was pretty great.

US Steel Workers

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