42 vintage medicine cabinets from Miami-Carey circa 1955

1950s medicine cabinets from miama carey

Am I right: Were vintage medicine cabinets made in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s so much more interesting — not to mention, heavier-duty — than today? I recently picked up this catalog showcasing mid-century medicine cabinets, and I count 42 different variations. 42! Plus, check out the towel bars, soap dishes and other chromium, aka chrome-plated accessories. I scan, therefore I am, and I’ve scanned all 34 pages…

 … (1) so that you can identify the medicine cabinets that may be in your home, (2) for your viewing pleasure and/or the hunt, and (3) for history’s sake. I’m not 100% positive, but I think, from the notation, that the brochure was published in late 1955.

miami carey bathroom accessoriesTips to view slide show: Click on the first thumbnail… it will enlarge… proceed to next slide via arrows below image… you can start/stop at any slide.

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Comments

  1. wendy says

    I saw the exact same cabinet shown in photo #4 at an estate sale recently! It was in a large and fabulous pink and blue bathroom with a corner princess tub and large formica corner vanity. The realtor selling the home was also there, and told me that it was originally a small bedroom. The owner converted it into a bathroom for his wife, so she could have a nice big space. It was dreamy :) If I ever find the little transfer cord for my phone, I’ll post some photos I took.

    • Trouble says

      Just send the pics to your computer as a pix message. Instead of a phone # type in your email address as the recipient!

      • wendy says

        I would, except I don’t subscribe to internet on my phone. (I’m on the internet enough without having phone access!!) If I do use it, I’m sure they’ll charge me some ridiculous amount.

  2. Robin says

    This is so interesting! Thanks for sharing!

    My husband and I picked up a lighted medicine cabinet (just like the middle one on page 23, but our cabinet has lights on both sides) a few months ago. We spotted in in the corner while cruising through the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I knew we couldn’t leave without it, so we took it to the counter and took it home for $5.00!!

    While cleaning it up, we found the date on the back of the mirror, September 13, 1954….SCORE! we are trying to figure out how to work it into our bathroom theme because these really are handy storage pieces…

  3. Trouble says

    I wish I had a bigger bathroom to do more with. Mine is the 5′ x 8′ design with the sink, toilet and tub all along the same wall. I’m restoring the medicine cabinet that will be used. In fact, it’s sitting right here next to me! Gonna blast it and reshoot it white, due to a yellowed discoloration inside.

    I wish I could reproduce the “Razor blades” lable inside but I’m too lazy to go to a place that makes decals!

  4. dale says

    I have one similar to the center unit in image 23 (never noticed the manufacturer). Our kitchen is mismatched Hoosier-style cabinets and I use it and two more old bath cabinets (one wood) grouped as extra storage for spices and such. You could also group them on a large bathroom wall more as an assemblage of mirrors if so inclined.

  5. Julie P says

    The cabinet on the cover is in the main bath of our 1955 house. I think the size of ours is a bit larger. We LOVE it! The plastic cover for the light has yellowed a bit. I may try to hunt down a replacement cover someday.

    • Mary Anne Grammer says

      Mine has yellowed too. The hardware store clerk said that new covers can be fabricated — but how do you take them off?

  6. cookieknits says

    Believe it or not, my grandmother had one of the fluorescent side light ones (p.14) in her kitchen! I always wondered about the used razor blade drop. Where did the blades end up? How long would it take before it filled up? I imagined a pipe leading deep into the ground from above Nana’s kitchen sink, full of Pa’s old, rusty razor blades. Talk about hazardous waste!
    It never occurred to me to wonder why they had a medicine cabinet in their kitchen.

    • MrsW. says

      My grandmother’s house (built in 1935) has a medicine cabinet in the kitchen, too. They put it there because the house has only one bathroom and they had a large family, so people would shave/brush their teeth/do their hair, etc. in the kitchen, leaving the bathroom free for more “pressing” activities. Now most families are half the size, and most of us can’t imagine life without at least two bathrooms! Talk about Mid-Century Modest!

  7. Wendy M says

    Since bathrooms seem to be the theme right now, can I ask a question that is slightly off-topic? We have a little soap holder in our bathroom that hangs over the counter and is attached to the backsplash. It has a little bottle-cap type circle that pushes into a bar of soap, then the soap magnetically attaches to the underside of the arm. The brand name is “Zack”. Just wondering if any of you have any info on these…when (and if!) they were popular, etc. If it helps narrow it down, the house was built in 1964.

  8. johnny dollar says

    re: slot in back of medicine cabinet: i’ve pulled at least 2 or 3 vintage medicine cabinets out of walls, and been greeted by an avalanche of rusty, nasty razor blades… 8 *

    • cookieknits says

      Well, Johnny Dollar, that solves one of the mysteries the four year old inside me has been pondering for many years. Thanks, although, I think I like my way better. ;p

        • Patty says

          One has to wonder what they were thinking when they designed the razor blade drop. But then you have to remember this was also in the days of just throwiing your trash out the car window. So obviously, they were not thinking very long term.

  9. Trip H says

    I have the “Duette Custom” in my bath. Great cabinet and still in excellent condition. I recently had someone give an estimate for installing a vintage sink and they told me I needed to totally update my bath it was so “50’s”. I told the man thanks and I VERY MUCH appreciated it. I am very fortunate the items left in the house when I bought it were almost like showroom new. Built in 1948 and IT IS STILL going strong.

  10. CindyD says

    I like the Duette DeLuxe cabinet. I’m not sure what kind was in our bathroom originally – we’re left with a hole in the wall covered by a large rectangular flat mirror. Last time we took the mirror off I took measurements of the opening, but I can’t find them…guess we’ll have to remove the mirror again.

    • pam kueber says

      Sorry, I have never researched this question…. I’ll add it to the list, but don’t know how soon I can get to it….

  11. Fred Kalisz, Jr. says

    Looking to replace several lamp covers for flouresent bulbs ( one top mount like above, frou for side lights. Any suggestions?

  12. Tom Hall says

    Looking to replace 18″ cracked and yellow plastic lamp covers, does anyone know where to find these for a Miami Carey-“Duette” medicne cabinet
    Thanks
    Tom

  13. Charles Bellamy says

    Does anyone know where I can purchase the light covers for the cabinet on page 15 as well as the light bulbs.

  14. Patti Landes says

    Where would I sell one of the Miami-Carey medicine cabinets? I just bought an old home with one in the bathroom and plan to remove it. How would I determine the value?

  15. Erin says

    I live in an older home with a recessed medicine cabinet like the ones shown here. Like the princess model. I would love for someone to direct me in the right direction to get a replacement cover for the light. Ours is plastic and terribly faded to yellow and it is driving me crazy. Please help. My light dimensions are 34.5 ” long, 3″ wide and 2 3/4″ deep. I’m a woman so I’m sure my measurements are a little off. Just being pointed in the right direction would be great. Thanks.

  16. CCinVA says

    Just reading through this thread for the first time. We bought our current 1964 brick rambler in 2009 & I’ve always been amused by the razor blade slot in the back of the medicine cabinet in our 1/2 bath. Reminded me of the home I grew up in that was built in 1955. After reading this, I went & looked inside and sure enough, it’s still got the original Miami Carey label in it! Very cool, I had no idea. No lights on the side though, unless they were there at one time & removed during a later ‘renovation’.

  17. Carolyn says

    I just scored a Miami Carey cabinet at my local Restore for $5! I originally thought it was a Hal-Mak but upon closer inspection found a mfg tag inside. Mine has the horizontal medicine cabinet integral to the mirror on the bottom. It’s a surface mount though as opposed to recessed which is good news for my installer/husband. The cabinet doors however are missing. Any ideas on where to find replacement parts?

    • pam kueber says

      for replacement cabinet doors, i would try my local shower door / glass shop — i bet they could cut some to size for you. congrats on the great find. miami-carey a wonderful brand!

  18. Benny Haug says

    Hello M C! – in the 1960´s I represented your line in wonderful Denmark, Europe, selling your fantastic products! unfortunately the cabinets were not shipped in containers, so half of them were crushed upon arrival!
    I remember sending you a photo from an exhibition in Copenhagen of a M C build-in magazine rack, displaying a copy of “Playboy” – at that time it amused you!
    Best regards
    Benny Haug, Christiansmindevej 15, 5700 Svendborg, Denmark

  19. John says

    Of course Pam would have a story on Miami Carey!! For some reason I didn’t remember this post. Looking over my floor plans again today and the medicine cabinets (Number 901), and the towel bars, (numbers 8021, and 8019), were used in my master bath. I was reading it completely wrong, which is why I couldn’t find it. I thought the brand was just Miami… thanks to Pam I now know its Miami Carey, (it even says that on the drawings I feel dumb now). Will be on the lookout for these now… oh and the receptor tub!! Mine was apparently the Lahoma by Crane, if I am reading the drawing correctly. Thanks again Pam!!

    • pam kueber says

      You’re welcome! Just try the Search box if you’re looking for something. We might have it!

      2,681 stories on the blog right now. I can’t even remember what’s there. Seriously. I used to be able. Passed that milestone some time in 2013. Now I struggle to find stuff. Alas. But, again: That search box does usually work pretty darn well.

  20. Sam R says

    The blue/pink hall bathroom in my 1954 ranch has one of the lighted “Master” models from page 14. Everyone who sees it comments on the cool Deco covers over the ends of the fluorescent tubes.

    • Sam R says

      Upon further review, it’s tagged as a “Cavalier” model, but it doesn’t seem to have the etching in the mirror shown on the Cavaliers.

  21. Steve says

    We have a Miami-Carey model 2015, Duette, I believe. Looking for a replacement wraparound light cover. Anyone have any suggestions. I really feel the need to keep this fixture in this 1956 ranch.

    Thank you

      • Steve says

        Fred,

        Not yet. Trying some resale shops, no luck. They went under in the 70’s I think. So, finding replacements that are 30 – 40 years old might not be the way to go either. Still looking though. Been looking at some high-line replacements at Rejuvenation, that would preserve the look at a pretty penny. If I find something, I’ll let you know. Let me know if you have any luck. I’ll keep your model # case I run across them.
        Steve

  22. michael matei says

    I am interested in purchasing a new replacement cabinet that we have
    it is the model ( The Imperial)
    How much is it? .
    Thank You
    Michael

  23. says

    We have the “Ensemble”, original to our 1955 Sacramento Eichler, but not present when we bought it last August. We acquired the cabinet from a neighbor, who had updated their bathroom. Happily, they had the foresight to keep the cabinet in their garage, and kindly donated it to us for free. With some cleaning, it’s pretty much like new. Would you mind if I borrow the relevant scan for a blog post I’m writing? Thanks!

      • says

        Great, thanks Pam! I just posted on our blog, using a crop of the relevant page. I linked it back here, along with a named link. Thanks again for sharing the brochure, and quickly solving the mystery of where our cabinet came from!

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