Woddity watch: Hall-Mack “Conceal-a-Roll” — once owned by Manhattan Project scientists

vintage-conceal-a-roll-toilet-paper-holderYes, this handy at-hand invention allows for the stealthy storage of a spare roll behind its chrome exterior, so you (or your guests) will never have to fear being … stuck — so long as they know the Conceal-a-Roll’s clever secret.

conceal-a-roll-Hall-Mack-vintageToday an impressive Ebay find — this Hall-Mack Conceal-a-Roll (affiliate link) toilet paper roll with hideaway holder — the first one we have ever seen in the wild. The Conceal-a-Roll is a fantastic, space-saving invention particularly for those tight on space midcentury bathrooms without spacious vanities or  in-bathroom linen closets to stash their stock of TP.

From the Ebay listing:

Extremely rare “Conceal a Roll” recessed toilet paper holder with compartment.  Excellent condition.  Measures 11 1/2″ X 6″, wall opening 10 5/8″ x 5 1/8″ x 4″.  Only one on Ebay, can’t even find another one on the web.  Removed from a 1950’s house.

When we emailed this ebay purveyor for permission to publish these photos, they passed along this penticing pimformation about the provenance of this pretty potty piece:

The holder came from a house we recently purchased here in Los Alamos, NM, owned by two Manhattan Project scientists who were the original owners of the house and lived here until they died a few years ago. Although the house itself is modest (a government-built home like all the rest from that era), the owners had outfitted it (from what I hear) in very chic Danish Modern – it even has a sauna!


double-toilet-paper-holderSeeing one of these Conceal-A-Rolls — which made our list of 18 rare vintage Hall-Mack bathroom accessories — in the wild, especially in such great condition, is a real treat. Hopefully some lucky reader can snag this beauty and put it to good use in their own vintage bathroom.

Mega thanks to Ebay seller tlburrows123 for allowing us to feature this rare find.

Get it while you can: Hall-Mack Conceal-a-Roll (affiliate link) for sale in ebay right now.

update: sold for $517. WOAH.

Read our other stories about vintage Hall-Mack bathroom accessories:

  1. ineffablespace says:

    The house I grew up has the Hall-Mack rotating toothbrush holders, and a recessed paper towel holder in the kitchen. Unfortunately the change of toothbrushes (ergonomic handles) and the increase in paper towel roll diameters made them outmoded. But I would definitely use these sorts of hidden storage gadgets reworked in modern dimensions.

    Rubinet makes a large shower niche with a flush front that spins open, available in a number of finishes. But to my knowledge, no one else makes anything similar.

  2. Heidi Swank says:

    I have been coveting one of these for years! Over the last year in our master bath, we’ve put in one of those extending Hallmack towel bars that recess into the wall, a rotating toothbrush holder, and Hallmack’s fish towel holder. Maybe I need an early Christmas present!

  3. Steve H says:

    A great idea and so much better than those dispensers in public restrooms where the spare roll is “supposed” to drop down when the other roll is empty. Do those things EVER work right?

  4. Michael says:

    Hey Kate, whaddya think of the way-cool hand-drawn cursive type in those Hall-Mack ads? Real talent, that.

  5. SydCDW says:

    Love it, need one, want one.
    There are so many of these midcentury gadgets for kitchen, bathroom or laundry that are clever, served a purpose and sometimes ahead of their time that have disappeared- Think the inbuilt wall or cabinet bread toaster.
    I know it is just a toilet roll holder, but everyone has extra roll and there noting attractive about a lonesome wallflower spare sitting on a cistern waiting for its turn.
    This particular utilitarian home helper needs to go back in to mass production.
    There is something pleasing about its simplicity yet piratical nature.
    And yes- I just got super excited about a toilet roll holder.

  6. Mary Elizabeth says:

    Regarding new bulky ergonomic toothbrush handles: Even with my arthritis, I don’t have trouble with a slim toothbrush. You can still buy them in various places (dollar stores, online sources, the cheap rack in department stores). Our camp trailer used to have a soap dish/toothbrush holder combo with those small slots, and we were always looking for the skinny toothbrushes.

  7. midmichigan says:

    It’s a great idea, too bad they’re not made any longer. It’s kind of like the glove box that’s in your car, only for toilet paper.

  8. philq says:

    Very similar concept to the fold-down tissue dispenser I have in my guest powder room. Different manufacturer…A. Marchand, Inc., NY

  9. SpaceCadetNM says:

    The people wishing they could see more of the house this came from would almost certainly be disappointed. The houses the government built after the war are very basic, no frills houses, perhaps even more modest than your typical mid century modest home.

    But the story of housing and houses in Los Alamos at that time and through the 60s is fascinating and would be a really excellent subject for a long blog post, especially considering the interest in the new Manhattan TV show.

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