Youngstown Kitchen – 1957 marketing material and a priceless video

1957 Youngstown Kitchen1957 Youngstown Kitchen1957 Youngstown Kitchen

Youngstown Kitchens were the #1 brand of steel kitchen cabinets across America in the postwar period. As a result, we see lots of these “fitted kitchen” sets come available for sales – with lots of choices of cabinets pieces.

While I am still in the early stages of gathering the history of these cabinets, I do know that the company seems to have been originally called Youngstown Pressed Steel Kitchens, and was a division of Mullins Manufacturing Corp., of Warren, Ohio. Ultimately, Youngstown Kitchens (at least) was purchased by American Standard, which also had metal kitchen cabinets. Presumably, this was part of consolidation that ultimately occurs in any industry.

Here are some great reference pieces from 1957 – the year that I consider the absolute peak of the postwar consumer frenzy — when EVERYTHING was available.

And, BE SURE to watch this incredible, bouncing-ball sing-along, 1953 video of the “Mullinaires” singing about Youngstown Kitchen, presumably for a dealer convention. Thanks to reader Jackie for finding this.

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Comments

  1. val says

    i was wondering if anyone can tell me what the kitchens are worth today?i have a full set of cupboards baby blue on the bottom and yellow for the top cupboards mint shape and serial numbers also matching

  2. Debbie Duke says

    I have a leather bound 1957 book titled Pictorial History of The American Circus. On the back, imprinted in gold letters is Youngstown Kitchens. I was wondering if this book was given to dealers or customers if anyone knows. The book is by John and Alice Durant and published by A.S. Barnes and Company New York. Bound in handcrafted mission leather by Brown and Bigelow, saint Paul Minnesota. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number:57-9907

      • DAve Fullerman says

        My father was a sales manager for Ytown Kitchens in the early 50’s. We had 4 of these books including the circus. I can not remember what the others were but could ask my sisters. We lost them 50 years ago. I think they gave them to sales reps and vendors as a reward.

        I spent many ours with these books as a child.

  3. Lindsay says

    I have one of these sinks, but I’m positive that the emblem on the front says “Youngstown Kitchens by Mullino” rather than “Mullins”. Any thoughts?

  4. Jenn says

    Pam,
    Where can I find a copy of the awesome graphic print ad and page of options you have included with your article?? I am moving my “Youngstown Kitchen a division of American Standard” sink and cabinet our to our bonus room after I get it refinished and I would love to have a copy of these framed over the top…I think it would look very cool. I love the nature of old vintage advertisements. I have scoured ebay…any other ideas??

    • pam kueber says

      Jenn, I think that ebay IS the way to go… you just have to Save lots of Search terms and wait it out — they are plentiful.

      • Jenn says

        Pam,

        One more question about the ad…Were both pieces (the Cuckoo and the various options) off of the same advertisment or two different ones???

        Have you ever heard of the cabinet that I mentioned? Most of them seem to be Youngstown by Mullins. Mine is Youngstown by American Standard. The logo/nameplate under the sink is more of a chrome square with a white paint in the indented lettering.
        Time and well water have not been kind to our sink. We are getting it refinished as I said and repainting the base (fiery red) to use as the wet bar in our bonus room. But fear not, we are still definitely a retro remodel, I got an even bigger 1929 farm sink from VT shipped all the way to me in WY and had new ranchy oak cabinets all built around it. It should be very cool when finished.

        I was admiring your pink bathroom collection. We have a mint green/black bath. Not quite as cool as pink, but definitely gives you the hankering for choco-mint ice cream everytime you go in there.

        Thanks, I really enjoy your ideas!!!

        Jenn

  5. zgoulette says

    I have an original Youngstown by Mullins kitchen in it’s entirety. It has Youngstown by mullins serial number 54K on the inside of the cabinets below the sink and has a red shield like emblem on the front with what seems to be a women shooting and arrow on it. I understand the metal cabinets are from the fifties and are now collectibles and being original and in good shape I assume worth some money but what my real interest is the logo. I am 20 years old and although find the cabinets nice I am more interested in the logo. I like the logo on the front, the shield type emblem with the archer in it and was thinking of getting it tattooed but I want to know more about it, where it came from, and what it means. If you have any information please post here and I plan on moving in a few months so if your helpful I would be willing to sell the cabinets for cheap.

      • zgoulette says

        Alright is there anyone who might know about the symbol still? I am really interested in what the emblem means and where it comes from any info would be helpful. Thanks

        • PatM says

          I found this on the web and since Youngstown Kitchens and Mullins Manufacturing merged in 1937 it makes sense this is the orgin of the Younstown emblem…
          “The W. H. Mullins Co. was one of the largest statuary manufacturers in the country. It made all sizes and shapes of statues out of sheet metal. This process was a marked departure from the traditional stone and bronze casting. Probably the best-known statue ever made by Mullins was “Diana” (goddess of the hunt), which stood atop the old Madison Square Garden in New York City. This 18-foot nude statue (a weather vane) was made in Salem under the supervision of famed sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens, who came to Salem to direct construction. The statue however, was soon replaced by a 13-foot “Diana” because St. Gaudens thought the original was too large. The original sculpture was then placed atop the Agricultural Building at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. In 1932 the smaller “Diana” was acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where it stands today.”…

    • Rockhoo says

      The red symbol is of the Greek Goddess Diana from what I have read. I remember that emblem on my parents and grandparents sinks. Just one of those things you never forget. My Grandfather and Father worked at Youngstown kitchens. I found some NOS emblems in his toolbox and will post on ebay. That emblem always got my attention, being red and all. Maybe I just noticed it because it was eye height. Anyways do some more research on Diana to see what she stands for. You know kinda like the Goddess Of Speed.

      • pam kueber says

        wow, Rockhoo, we LOVED finds like NOS Diana emblems!!! I am pretty darn sure some folks on our steel kitchen cabinet buy/sell Forum are looking for some of those for replacement purposes. Be sure to let me know when your ebay listings are up, and I’ll be sure to spotlight them. And be sure save any other Youngstown stuff you find. One of these days, watch for an email from me — I would love to hear more about what you recall your Grandfather and Father saying about their Youngstown Kitchen days!

  6. Chase says

    Huh, I found this to be very interesting! I moved into a studio apartment recently and discovered that I happen to have a set of the Youngstown Monterey cabinets! I have come to really enjoy them, it is just a shame though, that they haven’t been taken care of as well as they could have been because of them being in an apartment. I am quite surprised that they all have their serial numbers intact!

  7. Ric says

    I have an entire kitchen equipped with Youngstown cabinets in a turquoise. Does anyone know where I can find cabinet door hinges? Also, does anyone sell other replacement parts for these cabinets? Thanks for any help.

  8. LaRaine says

    The rental house I’m in has a full set of Youngstown Kitche cabinets. There are angled corrner 3 tier turntable units, angled corner uppers, a wide variety of door sizes on all ofthe units, a wall hung spice rack with a metal roll up door on it mounted just below the uppers that go over the stove. The drawers vary in width & all still function very smoothly, There’s also a broomcloset unit on the end of one bank.

    There are no dents or dings in the metal surfaces, but unfortuneatley the surface paint is in poor shape. Bare metal is showing through around the handles & there is a lot of discoloration in general. The wite finish has lost its luster & no amount of cleaning (including steam) will remove all the grerase that seems to have penetrated the surface over the years.

    What is the best & LEAST expensive form of refinishing these metal cabinets? I also wondered if all the paint were stripped off down to bare metal, could that surface be lightly sanded to give it a brushed steel appearance? And if so, would it be necessary to apply a clear sealer once that is done? Would that type of treatment destroy the $$ value of these unique retro cabinets?

    The landlord is trying to decide whether to attempt restoration or is it more cost affectice to replace with new standard wood cabinetry?

    I personally love these & would like to see them restored to original finish or at least refinish if the stripping idea is feasible & affordable. I’m researching to help the landlord make a decision & I’d certainly appreciate any helpful feedback! Thank you!!

    My question

  9. says

    my family had had a house in lindenhurst,(long island suffolk county). it was build in 1932. the kitchen was orignally a slop sink a gas stove and an icebox, like u see on the honeymooners. then in 1948 my grandfather got 16 piece youngstown steel cabnets and new appliances. then my folks scrapped these cabnets and got a whole new kitchen in 1972. some of the cabnets was rotted because of high humidity

    • pam kueber says

      welcome, andrew! A “slop sink” — I haven’t heard that one in a while, but you are right. And you are right that the vintage steel cabinets will outlast all of us! Be sure to see our Forum where folks buy, sell and otherwise admire them like crazy: http://retrorenovation.com/forum

  10. Linda says

    I have a thick card board Disney painted advertisment (?) from 1943, on front it has Thumper sitting on a log by a pond and a frog sitting on a lilypad, looking up at Thumper, on back it says “Creation of Youngstown pressed steel Co. a subsidiary of Mullins Manufacturing Corp. Warren, Ohio” also says “Worlds largest peacetime manufacturers of YPS Kitchen Cabinets and Sinks” It has an emblem with YPS in the oblong circle with the wing type lines on each side. Was this an advertising item? It was given to my aunt when she was a little girl and she gave it to me when I bought the family farm. She passed away several yrs. ago, and I have no info on it. Please call or email me if you know anything about this. 218 259 0127. Thumper, the log, frog and 1 cloud, are raised, so it’s a layered picture, measures 10 3/4″ X 14″

  11. Bob Mullins says

    My last name is Mullins and i am researching Youngstown Kitchens by Mullins to see if the original owners were any relation of mine.

  12. Billie Copeland says

    I am moving into a house with these exact kitchen cabinets…so according to the comments above- they have lead? what can I do? This will be a rental and I don’t want my children to have any problems.

    • pam kueber says

      Billie, you need to consult with a licensed professional regarding the potential for lead throughout the house…

  13. Corinne Herndon says

    I am still trying to find where I could get a cabinet door for my Youngstown kitchen cabinet. It is the woodgrain and is 17 3/4×29 3/4. Mine fell off the hinge and broke the top. If anyone knows where I could find one or a number I could call to find won I would appreciate your help. The cabinet # is N W 680977. Thanks Corinne

  14. Kelli Brandt says

    Hi I have and Emblem from Youngstown Kitchens it is White and Turquois
    just wondering how much they are worth.

  15. Wayne Scheffel says

    I have a 100% complete salesman’s/dealer’s kit for the Youngstown Kitchens from when my dad ran a hardware store in the 1950’s. It is in very good condition. I used to play with it when I was little.

    It must have some value to someone now. I am willing to let it go to a decent home – not a dealer for resale.

    • pam kueber says

      Are you saying you want to Give it to me for my collection? Well, howdy do, how nice! Let me know if that’s what you mean. We do see these on ebay on occasion. Pricing varies on condition and on who’s looking, of course.

  16. Jim Thomson says

    I have a promotional “good luck” coin from Youngstown Kitchens by Mullins. It has a 1948 penny embedded in it. The quote is: “Good Luck is 75% the right attitude”.

    Anyone interested can email me and I will send a photo of the coin.

  17. Tina Louis says

    Hi I have a slide ruler which is 36″long and slides open 4 times it is stamped youngstown kitchens #5025 mullins manufacturing corporation, Warren ,Ohio does anyone know anything about this piece and its value

  18. Laura says

    I have the blue double sink cabinet. All is original except the faucet and handles. I am looking for a picture to try and duplicate the fixture as closely as I can. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  19. Jane says

    Have a 10 foot wall oh these Youngstown kitchen cabinets from over 50 years ago when we moved in. They still look great and are virtually indestructible I’ve never come across any brand cabinet that’s made this well. These cabinets have hidden metal hinges , the hardware in the drawer rollers etc works great.
    Noticed these cabinets have a manufacture date of 1952
    What other cabinets would look and work this great after 60 years

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