14 rare vintage kitchen sinks spotted in 6 years of blogging

vintage kitchen sinkThere’s a big payoff for blogging day in, day out, for more than five years: You see a lot of stuff. My archives are just brimming with all kinds of rare features found in midcentury American homes. I was thinking, “Golly, I’ve seen quite a few very interesting vintage kitchen sinks,” so I decided to go through my archives and see what I could find. And find, I did. Here are thirteen vintage kitchen sinks — some are super rare, as in one siting in five years… others are a bit more common (although still rare in the grand scheme of things)… all are delightful. First up:

This story is about odd and wonderful. But remember: There can be hazards in the materials and products in our old houses and vintage products — so get with your own properly licensed professional to assess what you are dealing/working with. See our Be Safe/Renovate Safe page for more info. 

vintage elkay sinkElkay Stainless Steel Console — Also just one spotting in the wild.


  • And here’s another Elkay design — the Elkay Consolette — discovered by reader Karen in Oct. 2014.

tappan push button plumbing kitchen sink

drainboard sink vintage

  • American Standard “Midway” sink — Porcelain drainboard sink — built like a kitchen island.  Circa 1954 image. We have never seen one of these in the wild — only in this advertisement.

vintage sink stainless steel

  • Added Dec. 3: I just spotted this in an old story — a vintage Elkay (I’m guessing) similar to the American Standard Midway — but in stainless steel. Originally spotted in the Corbett House.

stainless steel sink with drainboards

  • Update Jan. 16, 2013 — Kate spotted this big stainless steel sink — similar to the Corbett House sink, but also featuring two drainboards — at her local ReStore. Wow. I’m guessing: used commercially


  • Updated March 24, 2013 — Another variation on the vintage Elkay, this one spotted on craigslist and as I write this, currently available for sale. I’m calling this rare(ish) because you cannot get this kind of deep bowl/shallow bowl combo today. Listing said: Mid Century (1955) 84 inch stainless steel kitchen counter with 2 integrated sinks. Vintage Elkay Lustertone (top of the line back then, and today), excellent condition, no gauges or scratches, just normal fine wear in the stainless steel. Counters angle towards sinks on both sides. One sink is 14″W x16″L x 8″ D with opening for garbage disposal. Second sink is 22W x 16L x 4 D (the lady of the house had a stool under the sink). Entire piece is 84″ x 25″. Called Elkay — today, a new 80″ Lustertone counter with 2 sinks would retail for $2,800. Perfect for a modern or mid-century modern renovation. $450 or best offer.

    sink top with top loading dishwasher

  • Kitchen drainboard sink with integrated top-loading dishwasher — These units from Youngstown (and maybe other makers) were not super-rare. But still coolio to the max.

mies van der rohe chicago kitchen

  • GE Wonder Kitchen — Super fabulous: GE made the Wonder Kitchen — these wereThese were marketed as one-piece, space-saving, space-age kitchen units. The cabinet modules were united by a long single piece of stainless steel counter top, which also had a sink and electric range engineered right into into it. Above: Read more: Chris buys a Wonder Kitchen on craigslist, restores it, and installs it in his Mies van der Rohe apartment kitchen. We also have seen “Hotpoint Wonderline” kitchens — same exact idea; at some point GE owned Hotpoint, so these may be the same kitchens, just rebranded.

porcelain drainboard sink


vintage faucet with light Above: Just added this faucet to this page. Reader Ron G. nabbed it. He said:

I just got this vintage faucet with a built in flourescent light. It’s wired right through the faucet stem. Seems terribly dangerous but I couldn’t pass it up. I can’t find ANY information on it. Ever seen one or know anything about it?

But hey, Ron G.: That looks just like the Elkay Consolette we subsequently identified in Oct. 2014. Dial back to the top-ish of this story to see the labels. And note, all: Wait long enough, and we’ll identify your woddities!

Would you like to see a bunch more “typical” vintage kitchen sinks? How about these 15 vintage sinks from Kohler:

kohler kitchen sinks

Do you know of more examples of rare kitchen sinks?
If ‘yes’, I would LOVE to see them and add them to our archive!

  1. Kimberly Ann says:

    PS If you scroll down on my link above, you’ll see a photo of a retro kitchen sink that I won at an auction for $3. Aqua! I’m planning on installing in my kitchen sometime in the near future.

  2. Cher says:

    You posted about a cleaning product that was great for old sinks. Can’t find the link to purchase it. I have been using barkeepers on my 1936 farm sink. I did not know better but would like to try the product you used. I read the posts between you and kohler I believe. Quite interesting.

  3. George Parsons says:

    hi Pam, in your 10 “rare” kitchen sinks, you don’t show the one in the center at the top of your page? it looks like the very rare one i have that was in a 1962 kitchen show in Calif. the plain one in the photo you show “kitchen oddities” was feautured on the old dick van dyke show. i have the deluxe model with sanitazer, hot/cold water push buttons, soap dispenser, and on each end of the unit there are motors. one is for a blender the other has attachements for mixing batters, bread and more. it came with full instructions and recipes too. i sure would like to know what it may be worth as well as if anyone else has one. thanks, George

  4. Shari D. says:

    Unfortunately, the cabinet question is now moot. According to the current listing for this home, it has undergone $40,000 in remodeling, and the kitchen as it stood then is completely gone. The dining area has been changed, and there is now a laundry closet outside the bathroom door with stacked appliances. If you check the listing, you will find this – “WATCH the RENOVATION on SELL THIS HOUSE EXTREME on A&E-May 11!!” So…….another one bites the dust, unfortunately.
    I suppose after over a year on the market though, the fact that it wasn’t selling was blamed on the lack of modern updates. It’s not bad as it stands now – in fact it’s pretty nice really – but it’s nothing like it was……

  5. Shari D. says:

    If it makes you feel any better though, it seems they did leave the lovely green tile bathroom alone! It surely didn’t need to be touched, and they didn’t.

  6. katy says:

    Grandma June has a WORKING servi-center in her house in La Habra, Ca and our neighbors up her in North Dakota just pitched a working one in the trash heap!

  7. Anastasia says:

    The only time I have “seen” the Tappan push button was on the original “Ugliest Bathroom America” special where there was carpet in the bathroom & a push button sink that no one knew how to fix.

    Most of those are pretty cool!

  8. Anastasia says:

    I know, I thought it was cool! This was in 2004, so before the blog started? I’m having a hard time finding photos from it. It really has an interesting design.

  9. Mike H. says:

    I have the one that is on the first picture of this site, and I am looking to sale it. It is in a state of needing to be restored. In great shape. Does anyone know of anyone who wants to buy it. I am located in the Southern California – Inland Empire area. Check out the the list with the guys name. I didn’t want to be rude, and glorify some other site.
    Mike H.

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