Built in bathroom scale that folds down — among the three most collectible vintage Hall-Mack & Nutone bathroom accessories

built in fold down bathroom scale

Every week I seem to be getting a new message from a reader — someone who has just made an offer on, or bought a 1950s 0f 1960s house — all excited that there is one of these in the bathroom: A Hall-Mack Concealed Scale. I’ve spotted these fold down bathroom scales and written about them several times, but to help these readers, I thought I’d do this stand-alone story so they can get right to it.

The above image was taken from a 1962 Hall-Mack bathroom accessories catalog in my private collection. As you can see, the metal box to hold the scale is recessed into the wall between the studs. It needs to be installed at exactly the correct point on the wall, so that the rubber-covered handle rests on the floor. I tend to believe that this unit came with a bathroom scale — but I am absolutely sure about this.

built in fold down bathroom scaleAbove: I spotted this fold downscale at a 1964 time capsule house nearby. It’s combined in a nook that includes a laundry chute — very thoughtful design.

recessed fold down bathroom scale hall-mackAbove: Cindy has a fold down bathroom scale in her 1960s bathroom, too. I think that when I went to visit Cindy, this was the very first time I ever saw one. Ooooooooh, Ahhhhhhhhhh. Love.

built in rotating chrome water glass and soap holderThe fold-down bathroom scale is not the only highly desirable vintage Hall-Mack or Nutone bathroom accessory. These “Concealed Lavatories” (above) — revolving toothbrush holders — are now going for more than $200 on ebay for New Old Stock. Golly — I have one in my attic somewhere that I paid $5 for, 10 years ago. I better go find it!

1962 hall mack relaxation unitAnd I tend to believe that, most rare of all is the Hall-Mack Relaxation Unit: You get your toilet paper, your magazines and — hey — even your cigs right there where you need ’em:

“Luxurious and practical and designed with a man in mind…”

I think that Hall-Mack was ultimately purchased by Nu-Tone, so these vintage chrome bathroom accessories may be in later Nu-Tone catalogs, as well. I will have to put this on my list to research. Why did these fantastic ideas not perpetuate? The only real reason I can guess is: Simplification and cost-cutting, probably during some severe recession. Alas, it happens.

  1. eelyram7 says:

    Hi, my dad has one of those rare Hall-Mack relaxation units that he took out of his 1964 house, and he wants to sell it. Do you think ebay is the best place for this or is there a better way for him to reach the right audience? Thanks!

    1. pam kueber says:

      Yes, I think you will get the most money on ebay. There are lots of folks who want one of these. Good luck.

  2. karen beck says:

    3 of my bathrooms have the built in tissue box also. I also am blown away that all these fixtures are so rare and wonderful. I have the 3 foot long built in chrome cabinet also. The doors glide sideways to open. They are plastic with bamboo screen in the master and in another bathroom they are white with butterflys in the doors They are beaufiful

  3. karen beck says:

    All 4 of bathrooms have the towel ladders also. Since I just found out these are rare I may need to get mine re chromed also

  4. karen beck says:

    Same home build in 1959 built by a student of Frank L. Wright. I have the “Concealed Lavatories ” for tooth brush holders have 4 installed in each bath Have 4 of the relaxation Units in each bath also. Master shower has a plastic bamboo shower screen door with butterflys in it. 3 other baths have plastic screens that disguise toilets with designs in them.

  5. karen beck says:

    My home was built in 1959 by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright in the master bath is a Hall Mack and Nutone Bathroom Scale that folds down (also in a pink tile bathroom) and another fold down scale in a jack and jill bath they are truly classic and beautiful

  6. Susan C says:

    That’s cool, Jamie. I said the same thing about my almost-house, but I think yours has it beat with the relaxation units. I have a few others besides the scale, toilet paper holders and medicine cabinet – including some in the shower and tub that my contractor likewise says probably caused the $15k worth of rot I’m about to have fixed. I have built-in speakers in the dining room and entryway to the living room but no intercom or other sound attached, and a doorbell clock that has sadly been stripped of the clock. But the doorbell still sounds great! It’s fun figuring out what else is there.

    1. JamieD says:

      We haven’t totally figured out if the intercom system works or if we’re just too dumb to figure it all out. The intercom between the kitchen and front door works, which is really neat, but we haven’t gotten them to connect to the other intercoms in the rec room, hallway, or master bedroom. I hope we can figure them out or fix them, because the kitchen unit seems to be the “master” and there’s a stereo and auxiliary input there. I’d love to be able to pipe music throughout the entire house!

      Unfortunately, we haven’t found the circuit that’s connected to all the intercoms and we had some weird power surging after a storm this morning. The kitchen unit kept turning itself on and off randomly and since it’s hard wired, we couldn’t just unplug it. Grrrrr.

  7. JamieD says:

    Our house has almost ALL of these built-ins, and we have two full bathrooms. We have the scale, two relaxation units (that cracks me up, I love the name. We use the little shelf for the extra roll of toilet paper, I had no idea it was for cigarettes and an ashtray), a toothbrush holder, multiple little extension rods for towels – two are in the shower and several are near the closets.

    We have a few of the tissue box holders and I love them because I have allergies and need tissues in every freaking room. But they’re not meant for modern large boxes of tissues and tracking down the right size is sometimes tough.

    We have a couple of the towel ladders and we have the folding towel rack and the mirrored toiletry shelf in the larger shower. We’re planning on having that shower renovated because the tile appears to just be stuck directly to plaster, which seems to be crumbling and moldy. Our plumber said that we shouldn’t have racks and shelves and stuff installed in the shower because moisture probably got behind them and caused all that mold. But we’ll definitely reuse those fixtures elsewhere in the room.

    We also have some neat kitchen built-ins – a combination paper towel/saran wrap/aluminum foil holder. Again, it’s a bit too shallow for modern paper rolls, but it’s so cool. We have lots of other Nu-Tone stuff, too. The doorbell, a whole house intercom system, some light switches, and the bathroom fan/light/heat fixtures we sadly just had to remove because they didn’t work and couldn’t be repaired. It’s like someone just went through the Nu-Tone catalog and said “Give me all of it.”

    These were all major selling points for us with this house. The previous owners used every square inch of space for storage. We definitely have the most closet space I’ve ever seen in an early 1950s house, complete with shoe racks in each closet.

  8. Dino says:

    I have the fold down Nu Tone scale in my 1960 pink and blue bathroom. It still works, much to my chagrin…

  9. VonTiki says:

    My house came with the revolving toothbrush holder. It’s still installed and being used. Now I am thinking about having it re-chromed since it is a rare piece.

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