Crown City Hardware — a fascinating resource for vintage style hardware

vintage hardwareRecently, reader Tisha wondered where she might be able to find a vintage or reproduction door set for a bathroom door like in Rachel’s vintage black, green and pink bathroom. Pam immediately sent her to look at the interior door escutcheons at Crown City Hardware — a business that has been around since 1916.

Crown City Hardware has an extensive selection of more than 100,000 hardware items … prices range from the affordable to spendy rare … and Pam says that the quality of everything she ever purchased there was great. While the company mostly specializes in hardware for houses older than those we typically write about here, there are quite a few parts that could feel right at home in a 1930s, 1940s or even 1950s home. Here, as just a small sampling, are eight products that might come in handy for Retro Renovators.

vintage kitchen cabinet hinge1. Half surface, steel plated, free swinging cabinet hinges, like those found on vintage kitchen and bathroom cabinets are available in several sizes and five finishes — Antique Brass, Oil-Rubbed Bronze, Polished Brass, Polished Chrome and Satin Nickel — for $4.99 each pair.

vintage porcelain bath fixture bracket

2. Porcelain bath fixture brackets, just what you might need to hang vintage porcelain bathroom fixtures missing their original hanging hardware, 4 styles available: $2.49 — $2.99 each.


vintage style push button light switches3. Push button light switches. The product description for Crown City Hardware’s push button lights reads:

Few things add an authentic, historic look to a home’s interior like genuine push button light switches. Push button switches were used in a majority of American homes in the first half of the 20th century, and we’ve duplicated them right down to the synthetic mother of pearl inlay.

And they are right, an old home with push button light switches does feel more authentic. Crown City Hardware’s selection of push button light switches are available in several configurations including dimmer switches, available from $14.99 — $38.99 each.

vintage style glass pulls4. Glass pulls are fantastic for folks who are wanting to do a prewar style bathroom, or even fun for dressing up vintage furniture finds. The glass pulls are available in seven styles and a large array of colors including Amber, Black, Cobalt, Depression Green, Forest Green, Milk Green (Jade), White and Clear — depending on the style selected. Prices range from $6.99 — $10.89 each.

glass cabinet knobs5. Glass knobs would also look fantastic in a prewar style kitchen or bathroom, or to restore vintage furniture. There are 21 different styles of glass knobs, many being available in more than one size, multiple colors — including Jadeite Green! — and the glass knobs with metal elements are available in several metal finish options. Knobs range in price from $2.89 — $11.59 each.

bakelite furniture pulls6. Seeing bakelite waterfall pulls made Pam want to buy a 1920s or 1930s to restore. Crown City Hardware has four styles of bakelite waterfall pulls and one style of knob — which are zinc and bakelite diecast reproductions from the depression era — ranging in price from 4.99 — $6.99.

vintage style cabinet pull7. Cabinet pulls with non-standard center-to-center hole spacing. If you have existing vintage cabinets or furniture with pulls that don’t have the standard 3″ hole spacing, check out Crown City Hardware’s selection, which features several spacing options including 2 3/4″ and 3 1/2″.

crown city hardware catalog8. Crown City Hardware Catalog. If you’ve looked over the whole website and still want to go further down the rabbit hole, consider ordering Crown City Hardware’s catalog. Called the “Hardware Bible” to many in the vintage home restoration industry, volume 7 has 400 pages filled with high resolution black and white photos of hard to find hardware, exclusive reproductions, rare pieces and restored antiques. The catalog sells for $4.99 to the general public and is free for industry professionals such as architects and designers.

Link love:

  1. Ranger Smith says:

    The brick and mortar store is a few blocks away from me and is truly a step back in time. The people are very helpful, knowledgeable and accommodating.

  2. Holly says:

    Wow, those push button light switches are so cool! The co. seems to sell 3 different styles of plates. Really nice shapes. I guess if you don’t like the brass, you can always paint them.

    We have push button light switches in our front hallway, although they are a different style than these. They are a double “honeywell tap lite”. So glad we kept it. I did some digging online and realize they must be original to our 1954 bungalow. Thanks for the inspiring post.

  3. Paul says:

    Oh my God! They have the same door escutcheons that are in our 1916 Craftsman house! We’ve searched high and low for salvage and reproductions, but didn’t find any! Thank you for posting this Kate, this site is great fun, and helpful for those of us with pre-war homes, too.

  4. Tisha says:

    Oh yes, thank you! This rabbit hole is more for my boyfriend’s house (a 1910 Victorian of some sort or other…we’re still deciding it’s true architectural roots) than for mine (a 1954 mid-century modest ranch), but it is so much fun. I’m probably going to have to get a catalog when he gets serious about renovating…

  5. lynda says:

    Great find. I have the Lewis Dolin glass mushroom knobs and bin pulls in clear with chrome, and really like them.

  6. !!! says:

    I just finished remodeling the kitchen in my bungalow, and I used their glass knobs+pulls and butterfly hinges on the new cabinets. They look very authentic (and much more appropriate than the cheap particleboard cabinets that were in the space).

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I utilized a similar store locally living in Chicago.

    It was The Knobbery in Arlington Hts Illinois. Very pleased with their customer service and was thrilled with their selection that worked with some of my vintage pieces. Love that there are local store options that have the rare items we are looking/craving for.

  8. Nice to have a new resource.

    Just as a note, the free swinging steel plated hinges are actually still readily available – you can pick them up for a few bucks at Home Depot or Lowe’s. I have a number of cabinets with them and grabbed any replacements I needed there.

  9. Midge says:

    I was going through their website, when I realized it was the same hardware store that I used to go to when I lived in Pasadena!! SO GLAD they are still around, AND accessible from anywhere! It was always a a “real” hardware store, just crammed to the gills with great stuff!

  10. Kathy says:

    Crown City Hardware is a great source, as is House of Antique Hardware. For new old stock, try Wm. J. Rigby and for salvage, Old House Parts (plus your local salvage shop).

    Another great old hardware store to try is Wm. A. Kilian Hardware in Philadelphia. They sell lots of old-fashioned products that are very hard to get, like sprung bronze weatherstripping, shop keeper bells, wood storm door fittings, specialty tinted mortars and so forth, and have many items in stock that aren’t online. Just email and ask for it.

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