Remember the Sunbeam appliance center (pictured at the bottom) that I bought myself for my birthday? Well, I recently saw this ad for another one, from Westinghouse. Isn’t it just spectacular?

Why these never caught on, I don’t quite understand. Probably the expense…But oh, as a design statement – well worth the investment. These are one of my favorite midcentury kitchen features – ever.

DESIGN TIP: Notice the nice little set of shelves built between two wall cabinets. A nice touch for collectibles, cookbooks or even appliances. Keep it tidy, though! Also a brilliant idea if you’re installing salvaged cabinets, and don’t have quite the right fit; see if you can make the shelves with extra cabinet frames cut down to fit…The idea in a postwar kitchen is to go for the “fitted look.”

This post was originally published on May 15, 2008.

  1. Joyce says:

    Golly gee, this is exciting! Think I have the super-duper deluxe model of the Westinghouse Appliance Center (circa 1950?). One ‘auto’ plug in, one not, 2 cords with the ends we’d always associated with coffee pots (although I’d seen a waffle iron with same), clock, timer and 4 white push buttons that push, but don’t do anything (blown fuses)? Plexiglass is frosted, adjustment knobs (for timers) missing… but Cool, Oh, so cool. Now, how to bring it into this century? (Meaning working but not altered).
    Mystery Appliance: Yep, ‘E’ has the idea! I had a gold one (70-80’s) with NEW teflon (didn’t last!); used as deep fat fryer, soup pot, etc. Rather pre-cursor to Crock Pot, except “low” wasn’t low enough! Originally cord was attached, by the 80’s this was similar to the electric frying pan, with detachable (and interchangeable [maybe] cords).

  2. E says:

    Does anyone know the actual name of the middle appliance — between the electric skillet and the percolator? I have one of these, and am trying to find more information on it. It can be used as a deep fryer, but my dad used it for a lot of other things as well.

  3. Olivia says:

    I love the appliance center idea. When we bought our ’53 ranch, it had an undermount radio in the kitchen that has outlets for appliances. I think it is from the 70s or 80s judging by the design.

  4. Happy Daze says:

    I’ve seen some that have a built-in radio, allowing you to jam out while cooking.

  5. Pingback:Retro Renovation » Another delicious vintage system by Sunbeam to organize your appliances

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