While stainless steel has been popular in the building specialties industry for a long time, it hasn’t always been a popular finish for products like restroom accessories and toilet partitions. You probably don’t want to read “A Complete History of Stainless Steel”, but a bit of background can’t hurt.
“Water resistant” alloys (what we would consider stainless steel) were first patented in the late 19th century. By the 1920s, stainless steel was produced in large quantities for commercial applications. The building, chemical, medical, and culinary industries loved the material. Why did stainless steel make a splash? Chalk it up to its durability, heat resistance, and cleanability.