Cast iron/steel water trough?

Kris5s64

New User
I have a cast iron, or cast steel, water trough(?)... It's dimensions are about 4ft long by 2ft wide by 2ft tall. The upper trough/tub half is oval kinda bathtub shaped, & the base is rectangular. It seems to be one complete piece probably cast welded(?) together wherever it was made. It has 4 threaded holes in the tub bottom. 2 are 1in npt, 1 is 1/2in npt, & the other is 1/4in npt... It may have been set up to 'automatically' water &/or have had a heat system (?)... It doesn't have any identifying numbers, letters, or symbols. It's not big enough to accommodate an adult comfortably, so I doubt it's a children's bathtub. I believe it's a fancy antique livestock trough. I have pictures..
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I have a cast iron, or cast steel, water trough(?)... It's dimensions are about 4ft long by 2ft wide by 2ft tall. The upper trough/tub half is oval kinda bathtub shaped, & the base is rectangular. It seems to be one complete piece probably cast welded(?) together wherever it was made. It has 4 threaded holes in the tub bottom. 2 are 1in npt, 1 is 1/2in npt, & the other is 1/4in npt... It may have been set up to 'automatically' water &/or have had a heat system (?)... It doesn't have any identifying numbers, letters, or symbols. It's not big enough to accommodate an adult comfortably, so I doubt it's a children's bathtub. I believe it's a fancy antique livestock trough. I have pictures..View attachment 68467View attachment 68468
Interesting piece. How do you intend to use it? Might be cool as a feature in a flower garden with a fountain.
 
@Kris5s64
The upper and lower are probably furnace brazed together.
It could also be a fountain, a baptismal vessel, a cemetery watering trough where visitors dipped water with a bucket to water the plants at a family plot.

Are the holes with threads in raised bosses or just in areas that are the same thickness as elsewhere in the bottom?
 
@Kris5s64
The upper and lower are probably furnace brazed together.
It could also be a fountain, a baptismal vessel, a cemetery watering trough where visitors dipped water with a bucket to water the plants at a family plot.

Are the holes with threads in raised bosses or just in areas that are the same thickness as elsewhere in the bottom?
All holes are in same thickness, no raised bosses. I haven't been to very many large, fancy cemeteries, so that's a new, interesting possibility... If it was some kind of baptismal tub or fountain, it doesn't have any ornamental stuff on it, but not ruling those possibilities out... I'm sure that it was used for a livestock water &/or feed trough, but I'd like to know it's true original purpose, & it's value, before we decide what to use it for... I'll do more searches based on your suggestions..Thank you very much, & if you have any other ideas, I'll be glad to hear them also...
 
Interesting piece. How do you intend to use it? Might be cool as a feature in a flower garden with a fountain.
That's what we're trying to figure out. We need to know it's original purpose and it's possible value before we decide what to do with it... Obviously, if it's worth thousands, or even hundreds, we would take extra care of it, if not sell it.. If it's only worth a few hundred, or less, then the wife wanted to make it a fancy, HEAVY, planter as you suggested. (That was her first suggestion the day I brought it home, of course... Women! Ha ha!)
 
@Kris5s64
Usually, especially NPT threads in cast iron, the amount of engagement for proper sealing is a recommended amount.
See the below chart.
Hand tight for 1" pipe is 0.400 inch, or just over 3/8 inches.

If the cast iron is thinner than the figures in the chart, where the pipe holes are located, my guess is the tub was not made for being drilled and tapped for NPT pipes.
If thinner, it may have been made to be filled via a hand pump.
Be very careful screwing the pipes in too far if the cast iron is thin. You don't want to crack the cast iron.

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I didn't do any of the holes in it. They were already in the 'tub', I just cleaned them up. The thickness is right at 3/8".
 
That's what we're trying to figure out. We need to know it's original purpose and it's possible value before we decide what to do with it... Obviously, if it's worth thousands, or even hundreds, we would take extra care of it, if not sell it.. If it's only worth a few hundred, or less, then the wife wanted to make it a fancy, HEAVY, planter as you suggested. (That was her first suggestion the day I brought it home, of course... Women! Ha ha!)
It sure does look like a planter! Or a fancy water trough. steve
 
This IS an old horse watering trough made by J.L. Mott Ironworks back around 1905. I found one exactly like it that sold for $2,500 on a live & online auction site. An in-person bidder ultimately bought it, but an online bidder was second highest. It looked like it was in similar, if not a little worse, condition as mine also. I'm thinking my trough is worth around that much as well now... These troughs originally had the company name on a cast plaque in the base, but my trough, nor the auction one has that.. The auction site had some old advertisement(?) pictures of the troughs that had the plaque on them..
 
What I read made it seem like they started making them around 1905.. I wish I could remember the auction site's name. If you know of anyone who may want to buy it, let me know. I live about 5 miles west of Bloomington, Indiana..
 
I have a cast iron, or cast steel, water trough(?)... It's dimensions are about 4ft long by 2ft wide by 2ft tall. The upper trough/tub half is oval kinda bathtub shaped, & the base is rectangular. It seems to be one complete piece probably cast welded(?) together wherever it was made. It has 4 threaded holes in the tub bottom. 2 are 1in npt, 1 is 1/2in npt, & the other is 1/4in npt... It may have been set up to 'automatically' water &/or have had a heat system (?)... It doesn't have any identifying numbers, letters, or symbols. It's not big enough to accommodate an adult comfortably, so I doubt it's a children's bathtub. I believe it's a fancy antique livestock trough. I have pictures..View attachment 68467View attachment 68468
I googled horse watering trough made by J.L. Mott Ironworks and found many pictures and info.
Apparently they began making them in the early 1800s.
The one that sold at auction for$2,500 may have been a real deal as the ones with a price go for a lot more than that.
I guess just about anybody would be pleased to have that as a lawn ornament!
 

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