Vintage 1960 electric bathroom heaters

1960-nutone-bathroomVINTAGE WALL HEATERS, often combined with exhaust fans, are fun to find in postwar homes. Here are three models I found in a catalog from late 1960. They are from Nutone and Rangaire — and oh my goodness, those ceiling models in particular are awesomely atomic, don’t you think?

1960-nutone-electric-wall-heater-and-exhaust-fan

I have not done research yet on companies today that replicate these appliances, which seem to have been not-uncommon. Nor do I know of repair places. As with all vintage appliances, I caution anyone dealing with these to know what you are working with. For example – asbestos in the insulation? Consult a pro.

Above: Note the groovy tile. And the cabinet doors look interesting, too.

1960-nutone-bathroom-ceiling-heater

More groovy tile.

1960-nutone-ceiling-heater-and-ventilator

1960-rangaire-bathroom-ceiling-heater

Looks like a fancy chrome hubcap, don’t you think?

1960-rangaire-bathroom-heater

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Comments

  1. says

    My house was built in the 60s, and we have a wall heater in our master bath — but that’s part of an addition put on the house in the 80s!

    At first I made fun of it, but now I *love* it. I wish it looked like one of those atomic ones, though!

  2. Elaine says

    We had that exact Nutone wall heater in our master bath. Unfortunately, Nutone is no longer supporting its older products, so repairs are difficult. In ours, the heater switch did not have a positive off, it was more like a rheostat. At zero, it was not supposed to turn on, but it did, at random. At one point, it scorched the back of a swinging door that opened against it when it turned on when no one was home. We learned to open the door the other way. Although I loved it, we have now replaced it with a hopefully safer ceiling model. It is not MCM but at least it is unobtrusive.

  3. Annie B. says

    We have Nutone wall heaters in every room of the house. They’ve not been switched on in years as I’m too afraid the rancho would go up in a mushroom cloud. Perhaps they should be electrically disabled; really do have a funky-cool look although they do take up a lot of wall space.

  4. sumac sue says

    When my sister and I were around 10 or 12, we tried roasting marshmallows in front of a bathroom wall heater. We ate them before they were fully browned because we were afraid our mom would catch us and get mad. So I can’t say for sure that a wall heater is a great cooking device, but, we did love it for warming up the bathroom.

  5. says

    Some idiot on the housing code committee decided that a bathroom with an opening window didn’t need to have a vent. I’d like that person to shower at my house in the middle of Winter and have the window open to let out all the moisture. I, being a sane person who doesn’t like to freeze when I step out of the shower, leave the window closed. That window gets so much ice buildup that it’s almost ruined the wood and prompts mold growth. Why is it too much to ask that a vent/heater combo be installed in every bathroom? Cripes. Stupid ’80s builders.

    My parents had a light/vent/heater installed in the ceiling of their main bath when the house was built in 1970. That’s the feature I miss most.

  6. Andra says

    terry morris-
    check on craigslist. I live in a neighborhood built in the 50s. A lot of buyers are moving in for location, but remodeling the homes. The ceramic tile and wall heaters in the bathrooms are the first things to go, it seems. I’m sure you could post something in your town or search current ads for people getting rid of materials from re-dos. Or, go around to homes for sale in your neighborhood and offer the sellers cash for the wall heaters. I did that for a vintage light fixture once. The buyers will just rip it out anyway. Good luck.

  7. Henry says

    Anyone familiar with Westinghouse electric ceramic coil wall heaters circa 1953. The home i live in was built in 1953 and the heaters all work except for one . I am interested in replacement housing and ceramic coils , or how to restore the frontal facades . thanks. They still work great !

    • pam kueber says

      Henry, this is not a DIY or fixit site. Perhaps you can find this info from a company that specializes in vintage appliances…I recommend you find a professional to help. Good luck.

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