Electro Sink Center on the Dick Van Dyke Show

vintage-electro-sink-center-as-depicted-on-the-dick-van-dyke-showAfter we featured a 1963 Electro Sink Center spotted on ebay, I heard from reader Christy. She is a big fan of the original Dick Van Dyke Show and knew right away that there had been an Electro-Sink Center in Laura Petrie’s kitchen for the first few seasons. She sent a few shots from her DVDs. Woah, that is one monster faucet! Click on through for more images –>

electro sink center behind laura petri in dick van dyke showChristy writes:

Dear Pam,

Love the site! I read your post on the Electro Sink Center that sold recently on eBay, and I have some screen shots of Laura Petrie’s one, if you would like it still? I also have a link to a 1963 Popular Mechanics advertisement featuring the Electro-Sink Center.

All the best,

electro sink center in laura petries kitchen on the dick van dyke showI ask: So did you watch a bunch of Dick Van Dyke episodes to get these? 🙂 Christy responds:

Actually, I already knew where they were! I love the show and have all the episodes on DVD; I think I’ve gotten close to wearing them out! I got addicted to it when i was living in Texas a few years ago (it was on Nick at Night), and when I came back home I had to have them 🙂

We have The Dick Van Dyke Show on DVD, too. It’s my DH’s favorite. We’ll have to cruise through for Electro Sink sightings ourselves. To be sure, that series is chock full of great design — not over the top, either. More: Mid century modest mashed up with modern. And somehow, the black and white makes it all the more appealing.

Thank you, Christy, this is a terrific addition to the blog and to mid century Americana lore. Alas, while you don’t have Dishmasters in the U.K., you are lucky to have fabulous 40″ cookers like this.


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  1. Just another Pam says

    What an amazing piece of equipment….hard to believe girls were discouraged in studying science and architecture, the latter being part of my history, but this baby was thought to be right up their aisle.

    For a quick tour of mid-century kitchens Billy Joel’s ‘We didn’t start the fire’ is a trip down memory lane. One of them, for some reason, makes me think of Pam’s every time I see it.

    I’m a bit thick, but what exactly is the difference between mid-century mod and mid-century modest?

  2. Josie says

    Just chiming (and waiting to hear what a more authoritative answer is) but my understanding is mid-century modest is sort of the homespun-or-bought-at-Sears-Roebuck poor cousin of midcentury modern. Mid-Century Modern is four hundred dollar Eames chairs from Design Within Reach – Mid-C modest is Fiestaware bought with the Target coupon.

    Its not that one is good and one is bad, but decorating a little 1000 sq. ft. rancher in amazing, expensive, rare things is not actually all that accurate to post-War life as it was lived by average young couple. Which involved probably more floral wallpaper or boomerang laminate than Le Corbusier lounges and terazzo, you know?

    I like both. There’s no rule against that! But mid-century modest is a lot more doable for me at this point in my life. I still can’t get on the Colonial-influenced bandwagon, though. 😉

    • Just another Pam says

      I’m not in warm fuzzy land with the mid-century Colonial revival either but that could be influenced by my last incarnation with country antiques.

      Sears did have some stylin’ items in their catalogs that are quite expensive today if you don’t find them at a garage sale, they had brand name bright and beautiful plastic storage…name escapes me at the moment and they sold Shelley Dainty Blue at prices that included the teapot at the ten dollar range. And lime green leisure suits for men so……..

      I like my kitsch and if this house wasn’t so very tiny I’d have tons of it but most of my ‘stuff’ is Danish Mod that I’ve gotten for some silly cheap prices though I did spend 900 dollars on a 1964 Danish couch, two chairs and coffee table with their original wool upholstery and ready to go while at an auction in a farmers field. They’d almost thrown it on the burn pile….yikes….and I was thisclose to hearing sold on their original 50 dollar opener when a dealer from closer to the States and Toronto raised his hand. Sigh.

      This house supports Danish Mod or Atomic but being over 50 I won’t live long enough to come up with enough of my favorite Atomic in this formerly very conservative area which is still a mecca to Pam’s aptly named greige.

      In my heart I’d have liked a 40’s, 50’s house but this one from the 60’s has a water view and this land locked Maritimer just couldn’t say no so often this amazing site is a form of self torture and envy.

  3. Allen says

    On a similar note…… A sink that was featured a while back (i cannot find it) is also featured in the Kitchen of the Napoleon Dynamite movie. This is the sink with the large, single, raised, offset, hole for the faucet!!

    • Jeanne says

      No doubt! I have to put that on my wish list. I’ve seen every episode a bazillion times. I remember watching it when I was growing up, too. Great cast!! Love the twin beds in their bedroom before television was allowed to show a couple in bed together. I can’t remember where I saw it, but enjoyed seeing a montage someone put together of Laura Petrie “Ohhh Robbbb” scenes. 😀

  4. TappanTrailerTami says

    Ahhh, those were the days! Love the Dick Van Dyke show. While the Electro Sink Center is spotted “in the wild” on this episode, there is also a whole library of vintage appliance TV commercials that are tons of fun to watch. The first one listed has Lucy & Ricky & the Mertz’s, as well as Betty Furness!



  5. Lynne says

    On a slightly different note….In the DVD Episode with Richie and Freddie’s intercom system, we are taken to Millie and Jerry’s living room. Rob and Laura are in a snit about the conversation they overheard. While they are on the sofa, to the far left of the screen, there is a desk. I have that same desk! Yep, a desk JUST like Millie and Jerry! I was thrilled! Now, if I could just have the couch and chairs from Alan Brady’s office….

  6. nina462 says

    Pam – look for the book TV Sets: Fantasy Blueprints of Classic TV Homes by Mark Bennett (2000). I have the book somewhere at my dear Mom’s house –

    It has blueprints for all the classic tv homes.

    If I can ever find my copy I’ll be glad to scan pictures.

  7. Guy H. says

    Oh my! I love seeing these screen caps! Now I will look for that sink every time I watch Dick Van Dyke.

  8. tammyCA says

    The Dick Van Dyke show is one of my favorite shows! I grew up watching it & last Christmas finally got the first 3 seasons on DVD (gotta get the rest) – this was after not seeing it for over 25 yrs because they don’t show the re-runs out here for some reason. It is funny that I have every single episode etched in my brain anyway so to watch them on the screen now I concentrate more on the background. I now see that I have the exact same sugar bowl that they have! One of my thrift store finds a few years ago. That’s one of the great things about DVR – I can rewind and stop to see the props in my old movies.
    BTW, my 8 yr. old daughter loves watching the Dick Van Dyke episodes with me – which is huge since she thinks everything else I like is “yuck”. I miss the innocence of t.v. shows & shows the whole family can watch.

    • Jeff says


      Just out of curiousity, is there a maker name on the Laura Petrie sugar bowl you found? I’m slowly putting objects together in a similar fashion to the Petrie’s to create a “comfortable ” kitchen like theirs. I already have their barrel cookie jar (Treasure Craft), copper canisters (Mirro), and wood pig salt shakers (Japan).

      Jeff R.

  9. hannah says

    The Dick Van Dyke show has always beeen a favorite of mine. I adore old black and white movies and tv shows, as odd as it sounds there’s just something more ‘real’ about it.

    We got rid of cable since buying our first house in April this year (a 1961 825sf Ranch in Maine). Even with the expensive antenna I can’t get in METV (Memorable Entertainment TV) very well. They play this show, The mary Tyler Moore Show, and The Bob Newhart show – makes me sick when it half comes in and I’m torn between watching a semi scrambled show, or turning on to something else I can actaully pick up. 🙁

    I didn’t know it was on DVD – I’m definitely going to purchase it!

  10. Joe Felice says

    I just thumbed through the Oct. ’63 issue of Popular Mechanics wherein this kitcvhen faucet center was advertised. Oh, the memories! I guess this would have been the precursor of today’s digitally-controlled kitchen. In the magazine, there were also ads for a scooter with a side car (Who knew?), a new hammer with a fiberglas handle (!), and a thing called a “staple gun.” There was also a car-to-car telephone operated by short wave! The first cell phone! Americans were so busy displaying our ingenuity and inventing things back in the ’50s & ’60s to make life easier. Some caught on, some didn’t, but there was no lack of trying, which is what we lack today. Good times back then!

    Does anyone remember the “Can-Do” by Ronson? It came out in ’61. It was a hand mixer, an egg beater, a knife sharpener, and a can opener. There were different attachments that popped in at the end of it. We had one, and I thought it was the coolest thing, but didn’t keep it! I wish I had. Ronson also made butane-powered candles with adjustable flames. We had some of those, too.

  11. Alicia says

    I was cleaning out a garage in an old 1947 home and came across one of these sink centers. It appears to have all the parts there and is in really good condition. Does anyone know how I would go about selling it?


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