When I was seventeen, my sis Billie and I went on a train to visit another sister in Minnesota. Because we were poor as dirt, Mama packed a lunch for our trip up. While there, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes so on the trip back by myself--Billie having had to return earlier for school--I was a little more flush financially cuz I'd had a job while there.
So-o-o I treated myself to the dining car. I don't remember that we even looked in on the way up--we were just a couple of children in a totally new environment--but on the way back, different thing altogether. I was a woman of the world, though hampered by two things--cash and diet--so I ordered tea and toast. That's when I fell in love with railroad/hotel teapots.
Later, in my first real job, I'd lunch at a downtown hotel in Grand Prairie, Texas, and there too tea was served in a nickel silver hotel teapot. Love those teapots!
I found this one at an antique store in Lewisville a number of years ago. Somehow tea tastes better from it.
The outside I keep polished with the hot water/baking soda/tin foil method, but I was having a devil of a time keeping the inside clean, tea being the stainmaker it is. Then I found on the 'net a method which works great: fill the teapot with plain white vinegar and let it sit for 8 hours. (I had to do that a couple of times at first.)
All it needs now is a cozy. Ta da!
As a serious tea drinker, I want easy access to refills. I found the pattern for this cozy online--though I've searched, I'm unable to find the original link. I used decorator fabric for the outer layer, which gives it more bulk than I originally intended, but it works.
Isn't the internet wonderful for answering questions? Not everything works, but this cleaning method sure did. And the tea cozy. Now I'm off to finish breakfast; I've got a pot of tea getting cold!