Antique Copper Framed Aquarium

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ronw007

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Original poster
Apr 17, 2007
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Woodridge, Illinois
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Ron
I obtained this aquarium in a huge lot of tanks that I purchased. Was wondering if anyone has any info on it. I have searched all over the web and can't find any info on it. The tank is approx. 18"L x 9"W x 16"H. The glass is extremely thick for it's size and the top edges are beveled. The bottom piece of glass is textured on the underneath side. All the edges and the bottom trim are made out of copper. It also has revited copper strapping around the top. The inside sealant looks like a black tar. I have checked all the copper trim for any markings or manufacturer and don't see anything. If anyone has any idea what year this tank is from, who the manufacturer is and possiblely what it may be worth, I'd greatly appreciate it. I have included some pictures, so you can see what it looks like.


Coppertank1.jpgCoppertank2.jpgCopperTank8.jpgCopperTank7.jpgCopperTank6.jpgCopperTank5.jpgCopperTank4.jpgCopperTank3.jpg

Coppertank2.jpg CopperTank3.jpg CopperTank4.jpg CopperTank5.jpg CopperTank6.jpg CopperTank7.jpg CopperTank8.jpg Coppertank1.jpg
 

Narwhal72

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Aug 13, 2009
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Very interesting aquarium. And that's just assuming it was intended as an aquarium. It could be an old display case too.

A lot of labor went into making it. I would put it at at least 80 years old if not older. The black tar sealant was used in that time to seal the corners of metal framed tanks. Stainless steel replaced copper during WWII. The rounded glass edges were all hand ground and polished back in that time.

Andy
 

Rbishop

...and over the edge.
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Dec 30, 2005
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Mr. Normal
Nice..weird bottom glass...maybe a bad replacement piece by the look of the seal job...could be completely homemade...
 

ronw007

Breeder
Original poster
Apr 17, 2007
246
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Woodridge, Illinois
Real Name
Ron
I appreciate the suggestions and your info regarding this aquarium. Andy, I think you have given me the best advise on it so far. I will continue to do some research, may have to take it to an antiques appraiser to see what it may be worth. Thanks again to all who have responded to my post.
 

FreshyFresh

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Jan 11, 2013
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West Falls NY
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Joel
Like said above, this is likely a one-off, hand made tank. From the looks of the super old-school black goo, it was intended to hold water at one time. It will likely leak like a sieve now. The ancient black goo tanks won't hold water if you empty them dry for any length of time.

My very first tank was a slate bottomed, chrome framed 10g. (insert water drip *.wav)
 

Rbishop

...and over the edge.
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Dec 30, 2005
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Mr. Normal
Depending on the "goo" it could hold water again, though I would worry about the bottom pane of questionable glass. Most older slate bottom tanks with the SS or chrome frames are re-sealable with basically boiling water. The heat softens and lets the "tar" flow back where needed and close gaps due to dryness and no use.
 

RickB

Registered Member
Nov 11, 2018
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IMG_2417.jpg IMG_2418.jpg IMG_2417.jpg IMG_2418.jpg IMG_2419.jpg IMG_2420.jpg I found a somewhat similar tank and stand at an architectural reclamation place. Its about 25 gal. and has riveted corners and a slate bottom. I think it might be worth a little effort if I can get it to hold water. The prior owner sealed the inside frame with silicon and slathered a layer of it over the slate as well. I checked and it still leaks a little. I've read that silicon will not stick to slate so I suspect that is the issue but I can't trace the leak. Is my best bet to remove the silicon on the copper frame, cover the slate bottom with a sheet of glass and reseal it all with fresh aquarium grade silicon? I haven't been able to find anything similar to this tank on the web but I suspect it might be very old. Any advice or info would be very welcome!
 
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