VINTAGE EYE CANDY today — a complete catalog of steel kitchen cabinets from Montgomery Ward, circa 1941. You can see from this brochure, how much simpler kitchens were in the pre-war era. Of course, we were still in recovery from the Great Depression. Even a kitchen like this — which would seem so basic today — would have been immensely luxurious in 1941.
Here we see again, how an average housewife of the era may only have been able to afford and purchase the sink cabinet alone, with its porcelain-enamel-on-cast-iron drainboard sink-top… While the catalog is presumably about the full range of cabinets, it is principally marketing the “Modern Cabinet Sink.” This would be the first piece a homemaker would buy — she would then integrate this into her farmhouse kitchen – which may have had homemade wood cabinets or not, or into her apartment kitchen to replace the old wall-hung kitchen sink. She could buy the rest of the pieces later. What a move forward: Built-ins, made in a material, steel, that was “vermin-free.” Oh, also notice the stainless steel drainboard sink on p. 4 – a look you can replicate with Elkay aluminum drainboard sinks today.