RCA Whirlpool steel kitchen cabinets — very rare, methinks

vintage whirlpool steel kitchen cabinetsI am feeling a get-back-to-the-basics binge coming on. Me wanna chronicle even more stuff from bygone days. Scan a bunch of catalogs. Find some more rarities. And here’s a good start: 15 years of watching, and I’ve never seen RCA Whirlpool steel kitchen cabinets before. Our 79th brand of metal kitchen cabinets made in the 20th Century!


These also come from Stephanie’s stash of New Old Stock found in — and now coming out of — her father-in-law’s hardware store warehouse. Yes, not only is this my first-ever look-see at RCA-Whirlpools, but we get to see them in pristine condition to boot!

And tee hee, I see that after I told Stephanie that I had never seen these before, she wrote in her ebay listing:

“A Brand Previously Unknown To Experts in this Field.”

Indeed. While I will vehemently deny expertise in about a gazillion areas, I will claim expertise in identifying — or at least, in having archived — vintage steel kitchen cabinets. 52PostnBeam; she probably can name them faster on sight than I can! Pink bathrooms, though: I’m claiming #1 in understanding their history. *soproud*

vintage whirlpool steel kitchen cabinets

When were RCA-Whirlpool metal cabinets these made? I’m having a hard time speculating just based on the design. But looking up Whirlpool history, I see that they cannot have come any earlier than 1955, which is when Whirlpool merged with Seeger, which already owned parts of RCA’s business. From the Whirlpool website:

“In 1955, we merged with the Seeger Refrigeration Company, which provided us with a quality refrigerator line. As part of the merger we also acquired RCA’s air conditioning and range businesses, allowing us to provide customers with exceptional products that met their needs.”

vintage whirlpool steel kitchen cabinets

The company was based in St. Joseph, Michigan. Could be the cabinets were made there. And ya know what: I’ll guess these were made closer to 1955 than even 1960 — because they are so plain. White. And because of how the wall cabinet doors curve; that read “deco” to me.

vintage whirlpool steel kitchen cabinets

rca-whirlpoolThe lines are quite lovely. I love how the cabinet door handles just tuck in there all nonchalant-like. The Whirlpool typography also is very dreamy.

vintage whirlpool steel kitchen cabinets vintage whirlpool steel kitchen cabinets vintage whirlpool steel kitchen cabinets vintage whirlpool steel kitchen cabinets vintage whirlpool steel kitchen cabinets

Above: We dont’ see wall cabinets like this often — peninsula cabinets, I’d actually guess they were called — doors open on both sides.

vintage whirlpool steel kitchen cabinets vintage whirlpool steel kitchen cabinets vintage whirlpool steel kitchen cabinets

Link love:

  1. Tom baker says:

    Yes I am looking to buy right now not a broker I am a working man ha ha ha look I am not going to pay some of the prices I have seen on ebay since to have dents and such including powder coat paint has become much more competitive I recently had a fridge powder coated for 300 just 2 years ago it was 5 or 600 give me a fair price and depending where you are I will buy them ASAP over 500 miles of the house and I will need just a day or 2 more. Thanks.

  2. Mj McAdams says:

    I currently have a kitchen full of Whirlpool metal cabinets. Original to our house built in the 50’s. They are yellow and still in decent shape. Does anyone buy them? We will be looking to remodel in the next year or so.

    1. Paul says:

      Any chance you still hav ethe RCA Whirlpool cabinets? I would be interested in some. Reconstructing a vibntage kitchen. Where are you located?

  3. JoAnn W says:

    The Whirlpool lower cabinet doors with the indented handles look quite a bit like some of my Homart lower cabinets. Homart has the round brushed pulls, but under the sink cabinets have those indented pulls. Can’t remember exactly, but I think Homart was early 1950’s.

  4. Mike S says:

    Interestingly, even though production of the cabinets have ceased, Whirlpool have remained in St. Joseph, MI; their location is on Lakeshore Drive. Isn’t it a shame that what was once so very cool is no longer made today? It boggles the mind.

  5. ineffablespace says:

    Whirlpool had acquired St. Charles Cabinets in 1987 according to the St. Charles of New York website.

    In my opinion St. Charles was the last national full service line of metal cabinets, and for some reason after Viking acquired St. Charles they essentially failed to market it effectively–it all but disappeared unless you hunted for it– and I think production stopped until it was bought out and reintroduced as St. Charles of New York, which seems to have turned it into a smaller, Manhattan-based concern.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Thanks for the info on Whirlpool’s acquiring St. Charles.

      Yes, as you will recall, we did a lot of coverage when Viking acquired and relaunched St. Charles… and then when the endeavor folded.

      I just remembered Moya Living and added it to yesterday’s story as a maker today. Looks like they have geared up for the residential market (not just scientific).

  6. Mary Elizabeth says:

    So nice, pristine, and perfect for someone fixing up an old kitchen. It is hard to come by those peninsula cabinets in any material. And Pam, I think one becomes an expert after studying something for a long time, which is definitely what you have done with mid-century cabinets.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Thank you, but I can’t name them on sight! Not aspiring to, either. So fun to keep track of all we find.

      Two more coming – including one from Australia! Our readers ROCK!

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