Super props to reader Helen, who spotted our fourth brand of “Relaxation Unit” — the metal racks  recessed next to the bathroom toilet with spaces designed to hold toilet paper, cigarettes and reading material. Who knew there were so many different brands of Relaxation Units — this is now our fourth!

Helen hit a real a jackpot when she spotted three, New Old Stock Perma-Bilt Relaxation Units at a local ReStore. A true dream find for those of us who get excited about things like NOS bathroom gadgets!

Notes:

  • On first photo above, there is protective tape on the front molding protecting the original chrome finish. That unit has a label.
  • The second photos shows a unit all cleaned up and shiny bright!

If we study up, we should be able to identify each brand of relaxation unit by certain distinctive features — kind of like identifying all the 80 different brands of vintage steel and aluminum kitchen cabinets by sight. 

Helen has saved photos of various relaxation units she’s spotted over the years. Re the Perma-Bilt, she says:

Distinctive features of the Perma-Bilt: on the horizontal shelf below the TP roll there’s a strip of chrome.

They also had matching aluminum magazine rack bars stamped “Universal”.

She also says that Perma-Bilts were relatively common on southern California, because they were built in Torrance. 

I tend to believe that Hall-Mack units were marketed nationally, so we see them all around the country. But, it’s sure fascinating to see these regional variants!

Thank you, Helen, you rock my world!

  1. KeyPal says:

    Rehabbed and reinstalled my relaxation unit in my 1963 ranch in Louisville KY. I can forward pics if you like!

  2. John says:

    I have a Perma Bilt medicine cabinet in my 1959 Seattle area home. I love the pyramid medallion! My cabinet medallion also has the motto “permanent as the pyramids” on it, and I suspect it’s older than this relaxation unit.

  3. Carolyn says:

    Am I the only one who has noticed that in those days, homes were built and equipped for the family to “live in” while nowadays they are built as showcases? Ofttimes with a nebulous future buyer in mind? And, at first glance, they look so luxe, but on further inspection, don’t deliver?
    One bathroom for the 2 parents and probably 4 kids, fully equipped with amenities that were needed – reading material, ash tray, tissue, etc.
    No wonder Dad spent so much time in there!

  4. linoleummy says:

    This is one of those items that would be neat to get ahold of but then what can all those cubbies beside the TP be used for these days? Sinking an electrical outlet into one of the sides for phone or bluetooth speaker would be handy. Maybe also some scented /potpourri type stuff…?

  5. Paul Vogt says:

    I have an old built-in Perma Bilt medicine cabinet needing an update. How do I uninstall this? It has a mirrored cabinet on each side of a center mirror. I’ve removed the cabinet screws that fix it to the wall but can’t get the center piece to pull from the back wall & can’t see how it’s attached. Any ideas?

  6. Patti says:

    I have a three mirrored, recessed medicine cabinet. Do you have replacement mirrored doors. Mine have chipped over the years.

  7. Pam Kueber says:

    Hi Patti, I don’t sell anything. For a question like this, I think I’d go to a glass shop or a shop that makes and installs shower doors. Good luck!

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