youngstown-woodcharm-lineFollowing up on our recent look at Erika’s St. Charles kitchen that combined wood doors with steel kitchen cabinet frames — here is my vintage marketing material introducing Youngstown Kitchen’s Woodcharm line. Looks like the year of introduction was 1957. And there were four wood species to choose from, for the door: “Mrs. Homemaker will love the warm, blending, tones of these lovely wood finished species of Autumn Birch, Fruitwood, Sandalwood, and Honeywood.”

youngstown-woodcharm-colors216I’ve scanned the four-page brochure. As I mentioned in my previous post, steel cabinet makers were in competition with wood cabinet makers in this era. These wood-doors on steel-bases were the “best of both world.” I also suspect that as the economy boomed, there were more outlets for steel production along with inflation in prices. So that could have been pushing the market toward wood. It also mentions in this brochure that by 1957 Youngstown Kitchens had 80 distribution warehouses nationwide. That’s pretty amazing. They were the largest of the “Big Three” cabinetmakers — Youngstown, Geneva, St. Charles.

youngstown-woodcharm-page-2Door styles could be “EASILY converted from one door finish to another….Selling homes is made easier when Kitchens can be tailored to the individual”…

youngstown-woodcharm-brochure-page-3Now that I look at it, this brochure was aimed at home-builders. That makes sense, because it came with a salesman’s set (which I’ll show soon.)

youngstown-woodcharm215By 1957, the company was owned by American-Standard, full name: American Radiator & Standard Sanitary Corp.


  1. Frank says:


    Your comment about the economy booming brought me back to an economics lecture in college about past recessions. There was actually a sharp worldwide economic downturn in 1958 that resulted in a spike in unemployment. Car sales were particularly hard hit. I think unemployment in Detroit was as high as 20%. I came across this Life Magazine picture essay regarding the 58 recession that was recently in Time Magazine (see link below). The pictures are beautiful.,29307,1850639,00.html

  2. Julie Rogers says:

    This is why every homeowner in my neighborhood covered the fronts of their Youngstown metal cabinets with wood-grained Contact paper in the early ’60s. 🙂

  3. St. Christopher says:

    You know, this looks VERY contemporary. Well, except for the oven and maybe the door / drawer handles…otherwise I could see this as having just been built. Would mentioning Ikea be insulting?

  4. St. Christopher says:

    Hmmm…I wonder if they wouldn’t if they were sold to the same people (those who lived through or grew up during the depression) who bought and took very good care of all these kitchen, cabinets, furniture and appliances that we (well, I for sure!) covet so much. The vintage stuff probably is better quality, but I think the attitude of taking care of your belongings may have a lot to do with the longevity of the older stuff.

    Big Shout Out to all the wonderful folks who did such a wonderful job of taking care of these things.

  5. Overby says:

    Any idea where I could find a replacement door for my Youngstown woodgrain (not real wood) cabinets. Most of them still work great, but one large bottom cabinet door fell apart.
    Thanks for any info you can provide.

  6. Carrie says:

    We are in the process of removing all of our Youngstown cabinets right now to update. When we moved in I had never seen anything like it – metal cabinets with wood looking doors. Apparently this was the previous owner’s “dream” kitchen!

  7. pam kueber says:

    Carrie, be sure to try and sell your cabinets. See my post on this subject in the FAQ.

  8. LainaRose says:

    Holy crap, those are my cabinets! I have the sandalwood finish. I love the metal frames, but I’m still not sure how I feel about the wood finish doors. I really want to do a midcentury look, but I’m not sure this is exactly the midcentury look I’m going for…any help would be greatly appreciated!

  9. Becky says:

    I am currently trying to sell several Youngstown Kitchen Cabinets – I’d like to sell – I am located in Kansas City, KS – they are originals built in our home. In very good condition.
    Serial # W-839904 Serial # W-653685 Serial # W-775650 Serial # W-785603 Serial # W-790406 (2) of Serial # W-800974 Serial # W-728211 Serial # W-616220 Serial # W-870911 Serial # W-815283
    I do have a few pieces that are Youngstown but I am not able to locate the serial # by just looking on the inside of them.

    Please contact me if interested…

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