B

Beautycraft kitchen cabinets made by Miller Metal Products

miller-steel-cabinet-tagFellow retro geeks, here’s look at a brand of steel kitchen cabinets that we don’t see too often in the wild: Beautycraft kitchen cabinets made by Miller Metal Products. Thanks to reader Janet for spotting this set of cheery yellow vintage steel kitchen cabinets on craigslist in Charleston, West Virginia (link long gone). The set comes with equally fabulous vintage GE appliances, in that same sunny shade.

vintage-steel-kitchen-cabinetsWe’ve seen this brand just once before, in green, in Dallas. The sink cabinets, brand-to-brand, almost always an important key to identification.

Miller-steel-kitchen-cabinetsFrom the Craigslist listing:

MINT condition, vintage yellow metal cabinets made by Miller Metal Products in the 1960’s. Matching Mint condition General Electric appliances. Double oven, electric range with controls in the hood, refrigator with bottom freezer and swing out drawers. Fully operational

vintage-GE-appliancesSince there weren’t any visible markings on the cabinets, Pam asked me to ask the seller if there were any emblems or tags identifying the cabinets. The seller emailed me back quickly, writing:

Hello Kate,

Great to hear from you! The cabinets are in great shape and I believe they would be a great find for someone looking for that style-any exposure would be greatly appreciated as being in WV makes it tough to get the word out sometimes!

I have attached the logo from the inside of the cabinet. I did some research on Miller Metal Products, Inc. (now out of business, not sure when) out of Baltimore, MD, and what I found was somewhat interesting. I found the info in a volume of Industrial Research from 1960 in google books. It seems these cabinets were made in the late 50s to early 60s. Originally, Miller Metal Products, Inc. primary business was the manufacturing of missile components, weapons and other related military equipment. My only guess is that they shifted their focus to manufacturing cabinets and other metal products as well as or in place of military weaponry.

vintage-cooktopCheck out the range hood — it has a “tiled” effect to match the backsplash. Neat. And: Grab The Counter Tops, Too!!!!

steel-cabinet-handle

The seller also sent me a close up of those cabinet handles — with a basket-weave texture. We do not believe these are original.

Currently, we have identified more than 70 brands of steel kitchen cabinets. Right now, Miller Metal cabinets and Beautycraft cabinets are identified as separate brands. We now tend to believe they are one in the same, although the Beautycraft brand label was perhaps used only at certain times??? This is our educated guess.

More info:

CategoriesSteel kitchens
  1. jay says:

    Nice way to start a sunny day with a sunny looking kitchen. I think that would be a fun kitchen to cook and bake in. I have counter envy! Really liking the long counter top adjacent to the sink. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Janet in CT says:

    I love this bright and cheery kitchen! There is so much to like about it. Two big walls of cabinets will certainly fill up a large kitchen. There is alot of drawer space and that small one off by itself is great! I thought it was very interesting that the upper wall cabinets on the sink side wall are rounded at the bottoms of the doors, whereas the upper cabinets on the fridge side have squared doors at the bottom. I am assuming that was done to match the square fridge doors and to make the hood fit better. I think the hood is mid-sixties or possibly later because it has turn handles instead of the old push buttons. Beautiful kitchen and I sure hope someone snaps it up! Wish I had a kitchen that it would fit into!

  3. Mary Elizabeth says:

    Yes, Janet, my first question when I saw the photo of the sink was, “Is that a plant or a huge bunch of fresh broccoli? I so want to put on a vintage apron and cook broccoli in that kitchen!” It’s just happy all over, from the floor, to the metal cabinets, to the flowery wall paper.

    The seller makes a good point that I have read over and over in my research into mid-century home construction. The factories were in place for the war effort, and after the war the country needed home building materials, not military stuff. So the biblical phrase “turning swords into plowshares” in the mid 20th century could be translated into “turning missile components into kitchen cabinets.”

    I’ve never met a Miller cabinet in the wild, so this is great. I am true to my knotty pine cabinets, but could I just covet the metal yellow for a bit?

  4. Christine says:

    My old cabinets were Beautycraft from the Curv-line design collection. They were originally aqua, and the handles (on drawers and base doors only) were fluted chrome – very simple, but elegant!

    Mine were made in ’55 or ’56, but I know that they were made by Beautycraft as early as ’52.

    There was also a big plant in or near Chicago, and you periodically see Beautycrafts for sale in the midwest as well as mid-Atlantic!

  5. Robin, NV says:

    Ah, yellow – at last! The layout of this kitchen is almost identical to mine. I have the same fridge, range, wall oven (although mine was replaced by cabinets) configuration and the opposite side has the same sink-in-the-middle configuration. I see this pattern over and over in mid century galley kitchens. It’s almost spooky. I once saw a birch kitchen that was exactly like mine. I’m sure in galley kitchens there’s only so many ways to put everything together but still.

  6. Janet in CT says:

    Jason, I noticed that wrap dispenser too, and also thought it was a milk delivery pass-through! Glad to see someone else concurs! Such an amazing kitchen! I like what looks like the built-in cutting board/hot pad next to the cooktop. I know some people don’t like them, but I think they are really neat!

  7. John says:

    I can’t wait to get my roof fixed to start on my kitchen! I want 1 set of GE metal cabinets, just the uppers. How hard will that be? My kitchen originally had a GE wonder kitchen which I decided against getting, due to the loss of cabinet and counter space. I figure the upper cabinets on the same wall will be a nice homage to the wonder kitchen. I just hope that I can find only the uppers. I want to get a green Jonathan Adler apron sink shown on Retrorenovation.com, and one of the super cool wall mount faucets Pam also featured. Wood cabinets below. Primarily because I have never seen an apron sink on metal lower cabinets. I could be wrong. That sink is a show stopper, I have to have it! =)

  8. Mary Elizabeth says:

    Yes, they are neat, complete with Hudie ring. Sometime on this site a while ago Pam featured a link to a company that still made these built-in cutting boards with chrome rings. Could you repeat that link, Pam or Kate, or remind us where to look?

  9. pam kueber says:

    I have never seen an apron sink installed on steel base cabinets… I think it’s going to be hard to vintage just wall cabinets… if you find a set, perhaps you could use the base cabinets in the garage or basement???

  10. Janet in CT says:

    Oh, Wow, John, you had a GE Wonderkitchen? What did you do with it? What color was it? I look for metal cabinets and vintage appliances all the time. Tell me what color and make you are looking for and in what area, and I will keep an eye out for cabinets. I know I have seen uppers only for sale before, usually in plain white. I may turn some up one of these days, as long as you aren’t in a hurry or looking for an oddball color or make.

  11. Scott says:

    John, be careful on fixing that roof, as soon as it’s on you’ll realize you need a new awning, a new door, new rails, and maybe even a new tree, LOL.

    Just teasing, it’s well worth it for the piece of mind. I just did mine a few weeks ago.

Leave a Reply

Commenting: Information

All comments are moderated, generally within 24 hours. By using this website you are agreeing to the site's >> Terms of Service, << which include commenting policies, and our >> Privacy Notice. << Before participating, read them in full.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.