Shirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INNow that Kate has flown my coop, I have decided to embark on a new project: Creating The Retro Renovation® Encyclopedia of Vintage Steel Kitchen Cabinets. Collected over the course of 10years — often with the help of many readers — we know all the 80 brands, from Ace & Acme to York & Youngstown. I have many of the brochures. Now, it’s time to become best friends with my $900 scanner and get the Encyclopedia organized. First up: Shirley All-Steel Kitchens, of Indianapolis, Indiana. It’s first because it was sitting at the top of my pile. For, like, six months.

Tip to view photos: On a desktop computer, click on any photo and it should double in size (up to 1,000 pixels wide) on screen. Hit ESC or anywhere off the photo to return to the story.

Shirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INAccording to my 16-page catalog, Shirley All-Steel Kitchens were made by the Shirley Corporation– and clearly, this was a family venture because the president was John W. Shirley. His obituary was published in the Indianapolis Star on Oct. 23, 1985. (A credit card was required for the free trial, so I ditched.)

I’m guess that Shirley Corp. was a descendant company or renaming of Shirley Radiator and Foundry Co.

Shirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis IN
Features that may distinguish this brand from others:

  • Surely (Shirley!): The logo on the sink cabinet
  • + Look inside the sink base door, there may be a label
  • Likely: the air vents on the sink cabinets
  • Likely: the steel sink designs (see p. 7 for its feature) — Shirley likely had their own stamping press just for their sinks
  • Possibly: the what not shelf (see p. 14)
  • Possibly: very simple cabinet pulls

Other than these… this kitchen looks to be a pretty “standard” design — full overlay slab doors with knife hinge… cabinets in a variety of sizes… simple looking cabinet pulls.

Made a bathroom vanity, too:

  • BUT also check out this steel bathroom vanity — steel bathroom vanities are rare, and this one also includes a steel sink-top and groovy door pulls — and it’s pink — nice!

The circa 1952 Shirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets catalog:

Shirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INShirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INShirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INShirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INShirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INShirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INShirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INShirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INShirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INShirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INShirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INShirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INShirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INShirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INShirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INShirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INShirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis IN

Above: A close-up look at the Formica options. Countertops also were available “in any standard gauge linoleum or maple wood…”

Shirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis INShirley Steel Kitchen Cabinets Indianapolis IN

CategoriesSteel kitchens
  1. Lisa Compo says:

    With all the info you have collected, brochures, your model collections, readers photos etc….this would make a fantastic book to be published. The Complete History of Steel Kitchen Cabinets…or something much better sounding. 😉 It might be a copyright nightmare…but if not, I am sure it would be a really neat and interesting collectors item book. I’d buy one, but I want an autographed copy since I have been a RetroReno reader since the pretty early days. I joined the FB site when it was under 100 likes. You should think about doing the book…being a millionaire might be nice.

  2. Joyce says:

    A friend gave me a Shirley 54 that needed some work. I have it all patched up now but can’t find the front center door closer part. The part that is attached on the cabinet frame (shaped like a “Sorry” game piece)is there, but the squeezer hole part that the Sorry piece fits in to close the door is missing on one door.

    Any ideas where I might find a replacement one of these?

    1. pam kueber says:

      Hi Joyce, we get questions like this often and the short answer is: No. There were 80 maker back in the day. Folks “steal” pieces from other units or otherwise figure out a solution…

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.