Beautycraft kitchen cabinets made by Miller Metal Products

miller-steel-cabinet-tagFellow retro geeks, here’s look at a brand of steel kitchen cabinets that we don’t see too often in the wild: Beautycraft kitchen cabinets made by Miller Metal Products. Thanks to reader Janet for spotting this set of cheery yellow vintage steel kitchen cabinets, currently for sale on craigslist in Charleston, West Virginia. The set comes with equally fabulous vintage GE appliances, in that same sunny shade.

vintage-steel-kitchen-cabinetsWe’ve seen this brand just once before, in green, in Dallas. The sink cabinets, brand-to-brand, almost always an important key to identification.

 

Miller-steel-kitchen-cabinetsFrom the Craigslist listing:

MINT condition, vintage yellow metal cabinets made by Miller Metal Products in the 1960’s. Matching Mint condition General Electric appliances. Double oven, electric range with controls in the hood, refrigator with bottom freezer and swing out drawers. Fully operational

vintage-GE-appliancesSince there weren’t any visible markings on the cabinets, Pam asked me to ask the seller if there were any emblems or tags identifying the cabinets. The seller emailed me back quickly, writing:

Hello Kate,

Great to hear from you! The cabinets are in great shape and I believe they would be a great find for someone looking for that style-any exposure would be greatly appreciated as being in WV makes it tough to get the word out sometimes!

I have attached the logo from the inside of the cabinet. I did some research on Miller Metal Products, Inc. (now out of business, not sure when) out of Baltimore, MD, and what I found was somewhat interesting. I found the info in a volume of Industrial Research from 1960 in google books. It seems these cabinets were made in the late 50s to early 60s. Originally, Miller Metal Products, Inc. primary business was the manufacturing of missile components, weapons and other related military equipment. My only guess is that they shifted their focus to manufacturing cabinets and other metal products as well as or in place of military weaponry.

vintage-cooktopCheck out the range hood — it has a “tiled” effect to match the backsplash. Neat. And: Grab The Counter Tops, Too!!!!

steel-cabinet-handle

The seller also sent me a close up of those cabinet handles — with a basket-weave texture. We do not believe these are original.

Currently, we have identified more than 70 brands of steel kitchen cabinets over on our Forum to buy and sell metal kitchen cabinets. Right now, Miller Metal cabinets and Beautycraft cabinets are identified as separate brands. We now tend to believe they are one in the same, although the Beautycraft brand label was perhaps used only at certain times??? This is our educated guess.

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Comments

  1. jay says

    Nice way to start a sunny day with a sunny looking kitchen. I think that would be a fun kitchen to cook and bake in. I have counter envy! Really liking the long counter top adjacent to the sink. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Janet in CT says

    I love this bright and cheery kitchen! There is so much to like about it. Two big walls of cabinets will certainly fill up a large kitchen. There is alot of drawer space and that small one off by itself is great! I thought it was very interesting that the upper wall cabinets on the sink side wall are rounded at the bottoms of the doors, whereas the upper cabinets on the fridge side have squared doors at the bottom. I am assuming that was done to match the square fridge doors and to make the hood fit better. I think the hood is mid-sixties or possibly later because it has turn handles instead of the old push buttons. Beautiful kitchen and I sure hope someone snaps it up! Wish I had a kitchen that it would fit into!

    • Mary Elizabeth says

      Yes, Janet, my first question when I saw the photo of the sink was, “Is that a plant or a huge bunch of fresh broccoli? I so want to put on a vintage apron and cook broccoli in that kitchen!” It’s just happy all over, from the floor, to the metal cabinets, to the flowery wall paper.

      The seller makes a good point that I have read over and over in my research into mid-century home construction. The factories were in place for the war effort, and after the war the country needed home building materials, not military stuff. So the biblical phrase “turning swords into plowshares” in the mid 20th century could be translated into “turning missile components into kitchen cabinets.”

      I’ve never met a Miller cabinet in the wild, so this is great. I am true to my knotty pine cabinets, but could I just covet the metal yellow for a bit?

  3. Christine says

    My old cabinets were Beautycraft from the Curv-line design collection. They were originally aqua, and the handles (on drawers and base doors only) were fluted chrome – very simple, but elegant!

    Mine were made in ’55 or ’56, but I know that they were made by Beautycraft as early as ’52.

    There was also a big plant in or near Chicago, and you periodically see Beautycrafts for sale in the midwest as well as mid-Atlantic!

  4. Robin, NV says

    Ah, yellow – at last! The layout of this kitchen is almost identical to mine. I have the same fridge, range, wall oven (although mine was replaced by cabinets) configuration and the opposite side has the same sink-in-the-middle configuration. I see this pattern over and over in mid century galley kitchens. It’s almost spooky. I once saw a birch kitchen that was exactly like mine. I’m sure in galley kitchens there’s only so many ways to put everything together but still.

  5. John says

    I can’t wait to get my roof fixed to start on my kitchen! I want 1 set of GE metal cabinets, just the uppers. How hard will that be? My kitchen originally had a GE wonder kitchen which I decided against getting, due to the loss of cabinet and counter space. I figure the upper cabinets on the same wall will be a nice homage to the wonder kitchen. I just hope that I can find only the uppers. I want to get a green Jonathan Adler apron sink shown on Retrorenovation.com, and one of the super cool wall mount faucets Pam also featured. Wood cabinets below. Primarily because I have never seen an apron sink on metal lower cabinets. I could be wrong. That sink is a show stopper, I have to have it! =)

    • pam kueber says

      I have never seen an apron sink installed on steel base cabinets… I think it’s going to be hard to vintage just wall cabinets… if you find a set, perhaps you could use the base cabinets in the garage or basement???

    • Scott says

      John, be careful on fixing that roof, as soon as it’s on you’ll realize you need a new awning, a new door, new rails, and maybe even a new tree, LOL.

      Just teasing, it’s well worth it for the piece of mind. I just did mine a few weeks ago.

  6. Janet in CT says

    Oh, Wow, John, you had a GE Wonderkitchen? What did you do with it? What color was it? I look for metal cabinets and vintage appliances all the time. Tell me what color and make you are looking for and in what area, and I will keep an eye out for cabinets. I know I have seen uppers only for sale before, usually in plain white. I may turn some up one of these days, as long as you aren’t in a hurry or looking for an oddball color or make.

    • brian keeler says

      I have a kitchen of all steel 19 50s white kitchen cabinets from my church. They are in really good condition but we are changing the Floorplan so I will be taking them out. All white and about 35 feet of lowers and uppers. Looking for buyer before I take them out. Call Brian at 7854528301 Central Kansas location

  7. says

    Oh, my goodness! I get the warm fuzzies just looking at that happy, sunny kitchen! It makes me feel like a little kid again…I can just taste the Pecan Sandies my mom used to buy for us when we went to the neighborhood market with the squeaky wood floors… not a SUPERmarket! Those were the days~!

  8. John says

    LOL Robin yes i am =) as Pam says, love the house you’re in, i adore mine. If only there was a Santa for grownups. Pam i have a carport, and in Florida no basement. That would be such a cool thing on both of those. Though now that you say it I found a set of plans for a mcm shed in Atomic Ranch magazine… that could be just the thing. I’m glad i keep you around! Scott the roof has to be fixed, it leaks something awful and is damaging the wood ceiling/roof deck… mind you its all in one theyre 4x4s. And yes new doors are on the list and door knobs etc, etc, etc… Janet the wonder kitchen, wall mount refridgerator, nutone in built food center, appliance center, i could go on but its all gone removed by previous owners. I want aqua but any color will do i can always have them repainted. Its an exciting process but slow as i save my pennies. I live in Jacksonville, Fl

  9. Becky says

    I was searching for ways to determine if my kitchen metal cabinets are worth anything and stumbled on your website. I have a pale green floor to ceiling (?) cabinet in the basement that apparently escaped the paint job that was done by someone on the kitchen cabinets. There is a sticker inside my green cabinet stating Beautycraft Curv-Line Kitchens. It also has “Beautycraft kitchens division Miller metal products, inc. Baltimore, 30, Maryland”. Maybe this clarifies for you? My google search also hit on a copyright listing from 1956:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=qxshAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA403&lpg=PA403&dq=beautycraft+curv-line+kitchens&source=bl&ots=ir0Vw5DsGd&sig=uhNQ28bdgmUwuNBfVzzlbfq4V1k&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rOxDVKywE4L4yQS714KQDg&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=beautycraft%20curv-line%20kitchens&f=false

  10. keith says

    I just removed a set of Beauty Craft by Miller Metal Products. The home was built in 1956 and just 45 miles from Russell Street in Baltimore. Both wall cabinets and base cabinets were in great shape. The sink cabinet bottom was rusty due to water collecting over the years which was understandable. They even had two nice sized lazy Susan’s in the original design.
    Now I reinstalled all the cabinets in the basement to store all my power tools and accessories. Beats any Craftsman tool chest or storage bin hands down. Plus I’m sure they’ll last another 50+ years.

  11. Thomas says

    I just bought a house that has these in the kitchen. Both upper and lower with above stove part too. They are in great shape. Let me know if anyone has more information on them. Such as what they are worth,

    • pam kueber says

      We don’t do valuations, Thomas. But we a story with some valuation discussions. It’s in Kitchen Help / Steel Kitchen cabinets subcategory.

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