Every week I seem to be getting a new message from a reader — someone who has just made an offer on, or bought a 1950s 0f 1960s house — all excited that there is one of these in the bathroom: A Hall-Mack Concealed Scale. I’ve spotted these fold down bathroom scales and written about them several times, but to help these readers, I thought I’d do this stand-alone story so they can get right to it.
The above image was taken from a 1962 Hall-Mack bathroom accessories catalog in my private collection. As you can see, the metal box to hold the scale is recessed into the wall between the studs. It needs to be installed at exactly the correct point on the wall, so that the rubber-covered handle rests on the floor. I tend to believe that this unit came with a bathroom scale — but I am absolutely sure about this.
Above: I spotted this fold downscale at a 1964 time capsule house nearby. It’s combined in a nook that includes a laundry chute — very thoughtful design.
Above: Cindy has a fold down bathroom scale in her 1960s bathroom, too. I think that when I went to visit Cindy, this was the very first time I ever saw one. Ooooooooh, Ahhhhhhhhhh. Love.
The fold-down bathroom scale is not the only highly desirable vintage Hall-Mack or Nutone bathroom accessory. These “Concealed Lavatories” (above) — revolving toothbrush holders — are now going for more than $200 on ebay for New Old Stock. Golly — I have one in my attic somewhere that I paid $5 for, 10 years ago. I better go find it!
“Luxurious and practical and designed with a man in mind…”
I think that Hall-Mack was ultimately purchased by Nu-Tone, so these vintage chrome bathroom accessories may be in later Nu-Tone catalogs, as well. I will have to put this on my list to research. Why did these fantastic ideas not perpetuate? The only real reason I can guess is: Simplification and cost-cutting, probably during some severe recession. Alas, it happens.