The Retro Renovation® Encyclopedia of Vintage Steel Kitchen Cabinets

From Ace & Acme to Yorktown & Youngstown:
Our guide to 80 brands of metal kitchen
cabinets made after World War II

pam kueber with republic kitchen cabinet setNOTE: I am in the process of working to integrate all existing research on to this page –it’s gonna take a while!

The product that started it all — the blog, that is: Vintage steel kitchen cabinets. I wanted to renovate my kitchen. Vintage steel kitchen cabinets entered my consciousness. I went on a five-year quest to find a set. Along the way I also obsessively researched how to put a 1950s-1960s kitchen together. When I was all done, it turned out so well that I started the blog to share what I had learned. In my cabinet-quest, I already had identified many brands of steel kitchen cabinets made back in the day. And in the years since — very often with the help of readers — we have identified a total of 80 different brands of metal kitchen cabinets built before, during but most after World War II — 78 brands of steel, two brands of aluminum; 76 brands in the U.S., three brands in the U.K., one brand in Australia. postwar-steel-intro-photo.jpg

First up, please read:

Then dive in:

81 brands of metal kitchen cabinets — pretty amazing, huh!

  1. Ace
  2. Acme Metal Products Corp.
  3. Admiral
  4. Alden
  5. American
  6. American-Standard
  7. American Central Division
  8. Ampco
  9. Anemone Kitchen Furnishings (U.K.)
  10. Art Metal Cabinets
  11. Beautycraft Custom
  12. Beauty Queen
  13. Berger
  14. Briggs Beautyware
  15. Capitol
  16. Columbia
  17. Cox
  18. Crane
  19. Crosley
  20. Dieterich Steel Cabinet Corp.
  21. Dupont-Dulux
  22. Elgin
  23. English Rose (U.K.)(Aluminium)
  24. Frigidaire
  25. GE
  26. Geneva
  27. Gennesee
  28. Hotpoint
  29. Harrison Steel Cabinet Co.
  30. Hobart
  31. Hoffman
  32. Homart
  33. J&L Steel
  34. Jamestown
  35. Jubilee
  36. KBC
  37. King
  38. Kirby (Australia)
  39. Kitchen Kraft
  40. Kitchen Queen
  41. Kelvinator
  42. Kohler
  43. Lustron (The latest addition, as we suspect they made their own steel cabinets for their steel houses.)
  44. Lyon
  45. Leisure Made
  46. Marvel
  47. Morton
  48. Midwest Mfg. Company
  49. Morgan Kitchen Cabinets
  50. Murray

  51. Miller Metal Proucts, Inc.
  52. Morhand Kitchens
  53. Montgomery Ward
  54. Olympia Aluminum Kitchen Kabinets
  55. Palace
  56. Palley Manufacturing Co.
  57. Paul (U.K.)
  58. Peerless-Mayer
  59. RCA-Whirlpool
  60. Regency
  61. Republic
  62. Reynolds
  63. Roberts & Mander Corp.
  64. St. Charles
  65. Servel, Inc.
  66. Sears
  67. Shirley All-Steel Kitchens and bathroom cabinets

  68. Signature
  69. Stewart
  70. Swanco
  71. Thriftee
  72. Tracy
  73. Universal-Rundle
  74. United Lifetime Kitchens
  75. United Metal Cabinet Corp.
  76. Westinghouse
  77. Walters
  78. Whitehead Monel
  79. Yorktown
  80. Youngstown

Note: In my compendium, I do not include companies that seemed only to have made single-unit items. That is, some companies made steel hoosier cabinets… some made only a sink base with sink… and companies like Dwyer made apartment kitchen combos. I don’t include these — I want to focus on companies that made complete kitchens with lots of mix-and-match models that you could order in bulk to fill out a typical family fitted kitchen. In this sense, I should probably not include Lustron on the big list above, as it was bespoke only for Lustron houses; I may take out of the list at some point — or perhaps make and put it into a supplementary list along with the other such units described in this section; pondering.

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Comments

  1. Dennis says

    Just noticed that Holly Golightly’s kitchen has metal cabinets in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Couldn’t tell which manufacturer.

  2. Carolyn H says

    I have a Beauty Queen metal sink base cabinet with a porcelian drain board sink. We are in the process of renovating our kitchen and have removed all of the wood cabinets. We’re not sure if we want to restore the sink base since it’s rusted through on one side and the bottom has a lot of rust too. We plan to have the sink restored because I love that old sink so much.

  3. Charlotte says

    When we purchased our cabin, it came with a steel base cabinet. The sink is recessed on top (not a porcelain top) . The only name or identifying information I can find on it is “Blackhawk” on a large name plate across the front. I didn’t see Blackhawk on your list of cabinets and Google hasn’t been of any help to me. Has anyone heard of Blackhawk? Is it a model and not a manufacturer? Any information would be appreciated.
    Thank you

  4. Erin says

    You sound like a great resource. We have several brands of vintage metal cabinets that we have been installing in our house. We are missing several of the ball stud catches as well as the piece they fit into (whatever that’s called). Any suggestions on where to find replacements parts. I’ve been unsuccessful in locating any. Thanks!

  5. Vanessa says

    We are in the process of purchasing an older cabin that has a vintage 1941 American Standard sink in lovely shape (I was able to find that one on eBay to figure out what it is – at least I’m ALMOST positive!!) It also has a Youngstown kitchen in great shape – this is pretty much where I decided we had to get this place! Of course I will investigate more when we move in a month as I was too excited to remember to write anything down but I’d never seen anything like it – in this kind of good condition I mean. I guess what I’m trying to figure out now is, are the cabinet pulls and faucet accessories original (because they are shiny as new and I just can’t believe it!! BUT the bathroom sink appears to have original hardware so I thought just maybe…) and if so, do we keep going on using these in our everyday lives?? How can I clean them without ruining anything?? I have always said I won’t buy something vintage and NOT use it because that’s half the fun for me but I know how collectible they are from reading your articles. That’s actually what made me realize what they were in the first place! I have some photos and I plan to take more next time we go back. Any advice would be welcome, especially from you as this is one of the only blogs I go to for vintage info (seriously!!)

    Thank you in advance!!!!!

    • pam kueber says

      Hi Vanessa, and welcome. You are asking a lot of questions all kind of blended together.

      (1) Here’s a story to get you started — http://retrorenovation.com/2014/09/15/9-tips-start-remodeling/
      (2) Regarding whether something is original or new, it’s hard to say without doing more research. See our stories about Youngstown Kitchen Cabinets (use the Search box, it works really well) to see what some of the original hardware looks like.
      (3) Regarding cleaning, I am not an expert. On this and relative to other vintage products, materials and layers in your house, be aware that there may be hazards you need to become aware of before proceeding — on this, get with properly licensed professional(s) to assess what you are working with so you can make informed decision how to handle. For more info and some link see our Be Safe/Renovate Safe page –> http://retrorenovation.com/renovate-safe/

      Good luck with all!

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