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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 163 (141)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 163
Page 163

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 163

eacl, a Metal of Many Uses in the Theatre

Utilitarian and Decorative Applications Combine to Increase the Demand for Lead

. . . but thou, thou meagre lead

Which rather threatinest than dost promise aught,

Thy paleness moves me more than eloquence . . .

S HAKESPEARE: ffThe Merchant of Venice"

Bassanio, in common with millions of others who are only superficially acquainted with the properties and qualities of lead, regarded it as a metal meagerly endowed with valuable attributes. But he, like many others, found upon closer acquaintance that leads paleness exists only on the surface and that it conceals a rich reward for him who would choose to seek for unseen values.

Lead probably has more fields of application in a theatre than any other single metal. In an average theatre, built and furnished with no special thought given to the use of lead, this metal will be found in many places throughout the structure. With a little imagination and thought, lead can be made to serve many less common purposes with efiiciency and economy.



One of the most important functions of lead is, of course, as a plumbing material. The theatre must provide for its patrons that much abused but necessary facility, a public toilet. Liberal use of lead in the waste-disposal pipes of a public toilet can do much to minimize maintenance costs and insure against costly and disagreeable repair jobs. Properly installed, soil and waste lines of lead will provide smoother outlet and less turbulent fiow for waste water than will any other type of piping, with consequent reduction of noise and less likelie hood of stoppages. Lead pipe is almost totally unaffected by the acids and acid fumes which are always present in plumbing waste and vent lines to which other metals sometimes used for these purposes are highly vulnerable.

One very important advantage of lead plumbing fixture connections which is often overlooked is flexibility. The fireproof construction required for safety of the theatres occupants is of necessity rigid. Also the primary frame of the main waste lines, being probably of cast iron, is rigid. However, both the building structure and the pipe frame are subject to thermal expansion and other movements within themselves and at different rates. Without the flexibility provided by lead connections between the rigid pipes and the fixtures which must be secured to the building structure, excessive strains may be imposed upon the ceramic bodies of these fixtures to cause




Lead Industries Assacialion

breakage. Such breakage is not uncommon in rigidly connected systems and the cause is in many cases not recognized. Only by means of fiexible connections such as those provided by lead can such breakage certainly be avoided.


In connection with plumbing, another important function which is best performed by lead is the Water-proofing of floors of toilet rooms and other areassuch as air-conditioning machinery rooms ewhere water is used in operating equipment. Such areas, when located in upper parts of the building, are often directly over vestibules or other expensively decorated sections which would be severely damaged by overflows or breakage. A sheet lead pan under the entire floor of rooms containing such hazards is an excellent insurance against costly redecorating jobs should water leakage occur.


Water leakage is no less damaging to interior decorations when it comes from the roof.

The usual metallic roofing materials as well as plumbing pipes are subject to corrosive elements. The air, particularly in cities, is laden with acid vapors, the products of industrial and other heating equipment. Lead is well known to be more resistant to such corrosive agents than any other roofing metal.

Sheet lead has for centuries been recognized as a high quality roofing material and modern practice using hard lead, an alloy of lead, has removed lead from the category of high-priced materials by making possible the use of thinner sheets. Where the design of the theatre building includes an exposed roof as a part of the facade, the soft light gray of a lead roof can be a delightfully attractive feature.

In those strictly utilitarian functions of fiashings, copings, and incidental water-proofings, leadis unrivaled permanence provides security from damage by corrosion.

IN THE FIELD OF PLUMBING, lead finds one of its most important uses. The employment of lead for soil and waste pipes, properly installed, can be of inesfimable service in keeping down maintenance costs and preventing expensive and disagreeable repair iobs. Here are seen lead plumbing fixture connections in a public toilet installation, to provide flexibility as well as dependable sanitation. (Lead Industries Association photo.)
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 163