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Vintage Elkay Stainless Steel Kitchen Console with built in fluorescent light

Yum, one of our favorite woddity features:
Water + electricity. Not.

elkay sink with integral lightThanks to reader Nutella, who spotted this amazing sink in Baltimore. It’s a vintage Elkay stainless steel three-bowl sink with a very notable, unusual feature: A flourescent light bar that runs along the top. This wonderful oddity — see our entire woddity archive here — combines two of our very favorite things: Water and electricity! JK: Get with your own properly licensed expert to assess safety etc…

The seller, who gave me permission to show this photo, was able to trace this sink to a 1962 advertisement in Popular Mechanics — see page 116.  Elkay is calling this a “Stainless Steel Kitchen Console” — and interestingly, the sink shown in the ad appears to have a built-in Nutone blender system, too.  The ad also spotlights another novel feature, which I don’t quite understand, “… The console has a built-in sprayer under the water faucet. When control is set for ‘flood’ or ‘spray,’ the spray goes automatically into action, leaving the housewife’s hands free….” Does this mean the sprayer is part of the water faucet… or is it somewhere else? Where is it?

The sink is for sale for $250 or best offer. Here is the ext of the ad:

Vintage Elkay brand 3 bowl kitchen sink from about 1962, judging by the ad in Popular Mechanics from that year. It measures 42 1/2″ x 22″. Notice that it has integrated light, disposal switch, drain closures, faucets handles, and spout. The faucet has a built-in spray feature. It is a classic and everyone oohhs and aahhs over it. A copy of the original advertisement appears below. The house from which this sink comes was built in the 1970’s. We are renovating the kitchen and replacing this item. It needs a new washer on the cold water faucet, perhaps a new cartridge — part # A42057R. Amazon.com has one for sale for 39.05 ( http://www.amazon.com/Elkay-A42057R-Replacement-Micracore-Cartridge/dp/B0033UX88U.) We have not replaced the fluorescent bulb in the light and I cannot say whether the light works or not. One of the drains was replaced, but we have the original parts. $250. If you don’t like the price, make an offer. Act quickly, please.

Excellent woddity spotting, nutella.

Other wodd sinks we have known and loved:

  1. Wendy says:

    We recently purchased a mid century modern home that has an elkay kitchen console just like the one in the photo. We were able to refurbish it so it works but the plastic light cover is cracked. Any ideas as to where to get one or have one fabricated? Thanks for any suggestion.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Wooo, very cool. I don’t know, though. One thought: Go through our Decorate / Lighting category — we have a few resources there that might turn up something.

  2. daryl says:

    I recently purchased an Elkay sink console with the light. I was wondering if anyone knows where I can get a light cover ( plastic )
    Any info would be great, thank you!!!!!!

  3. Doug says:

    We have that very same Elkay sink [installed 1970], and need a replacement for the plastic cover over the flourescent light. Any ideas how to get one without having to have one fabricated for us?

    1. pam kueber says:

      This is such a specialty piece, I can’t imagine. That said: Looks like straight cuts, it can’t set you back too much…

  4. Doug says:

    Is this sink still available? If so, I need contact info for the seller or the link for the original ad for sale.

    If not, does anyone know of any others like it that are available for sale?

  5. Steve-o says:

    First let me say I enjoy this site and community. I have been poking around here for a few years and this is my first post. This site is the only place on the Interwebs that has any info on these great examples of industrial design and awesome US manufacturing, so thank you!

    I just came across one of these Elkay consoles complete with drain shutoffs, lamp, disposal switch and three bin sink with the faucet sprayer head. It was at an antique store around Christmas week in fair shape overall and someone was thoughtful enough to pull it out of a home rather than scrap it for its replacement. I was really in the market for a funky kitchen master style faucet but this was way wild and too hard to pass up.

    As a mechanical engineer and avid tinkerer/builder/aficionado of all things mid century kewl, I’m going through everything on this unit now cleaning, descaling, testing, refinishing, and finding parts.

    We have a ’65 MCM quad home we’re restoring to period-correct and my wife has also caught the retro bug after we met and saw/then tolerated/then appreciated my collection of vintage cars, bicycles, toys shop tools, lighting, Christmas decorations, vacuums, furniture, radios, televisions, vending machines, appliances…. I digress, sorry.

    The switches and wiring are in great shape but the fluorescent ballast is blown so I will convert it internally to a direct-wire LED. The faucet cartridges were completely blown out so I have new brass ones on order as they are very hard to find and expensive when you do find them. Not sure if they will fit but I’ll know when I get them.

    To address an earlier question about the lamp cover – mine is cracked too and missing a piece at the corner. When I get to it in the final phase of the reconditioning, I will either ask some friends in the molded plastics biz if it can be re-shot (If you look at it, it’s a simple ‘extruded’ design, so once you have the profile, you can make a mold at any length to order), or have it remade in a high quality 3D printing. If you haven’t seen this technology, it’s gotten really good at making detailed ‘plastic’ parts the past few years. A last resort is to find a generic fluorescent cover thgat’s similar from another under cabinet unit and make it fit. I will keep you posted on what course I take.

    The bottom line is that when I am done with this console I will do one of three things:

    – Use the lamp/faucet module on a smaller custom sink when we re-do our kitchen to period correct. Possibly sell the sink assembly, although I don’t really want to part it out.

    – Use the whole console and reconfigure the kitchen counter layout to accommodate (the sinks are pretty big and with a auto dishwasher become difficult to justify, but not impossible)

    – Sell the entire console. I have photos of everything so far if you’d like them posted somewhere.

    I hope you found this interesting or at least a little entertaining. Cheers,
    -Steve-o

    1. john zeller says:

      Steve, I have the exact sink and the stems are junk. Sink is perfect everything works great. I am anxious to hear if those stems worked for you and where you ordered them.
      I would like to see some of your retro stuff. I am doing an 1875 Victorian with kitchens updated in the 40’s

      1. Steve-o says:

        Hi John – yes – the new cartridges fit great but I never tested them. I am currently putting everything back together after about 3 years. Finally catching up on some projects! I’ll post a video of progress below…

  6. Cindi says:

    I just purchased my parent’s home that has a Elkay double sink with this console. The light still works and yes, the sprayer is built into the faucet! Wish I could post a pic here!

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