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Water filter record for a miniature Doultons

Posted on | By Thornton Kay
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South Yorkshire, UK - Top of four water filters in Saturday's BBR advertising sale was a c1880s miniature Doultons Patent Manganous Carbon Filter London with the royal arms, at just over six inches high overall, which raised £1,200 plus premium. Whether this originally worked as a real filter is not known.

As early as 1827, Henry Doulton (1820-97) had developed ceramic filters for removing bacteria from drinking water. In 1835, Doulton & Watts came to the attention of Queen Victoria (or was it Prince Albert?) who bought its water filters for the Royal household. Louis Pasteur advanced the science of microbiology, and Henry Doulton created micro porous ceramic diatomaceous earth cartridges capable of removing nearly all of the bacteria in a sample of water. In 1882 Albert James Bernays (1823-92), professor of chemistry at St Thomas's Hospital, patented a manganous carbon filter which was then used by Doulton & Co and advertised in the 1884 <i>Chemiost and Druggist</i> as the only filter recommended by the Sanitary Institute of Great Britain, and the National Health Society.

Manganous ions in drinking water are associated with maganism a rare disorder of intellectual impairment, increased hyperactive and oppositional behaviour in children. Some surface waters and shallow wells contain manganese compounds. Manganese bacteria can also cause staining. Acidic peaty waters are more likely to contain manganese. (In the UK a Southeast Water 2014 water quality reports shows manganese at 1 µg Mn/L - around 1/40th of safe levels.)

A cane coloured Cheavins water filter royal patent 22ins high complete made £20, a 23ins high white glazed filter with a tap and blue pictorial in the Japanese taste complete made £42, and a cane Doultons Puro No 4 26ins high with tap and filters repaired lid made £25.

Atelier Schmit Glas in Lood Salvo Directory 28 Nov 2005

Story Type: Auction Report