Longtime readers surely know about “Relaxation Units” — recessed caddies for the bathroom situated next to the toilet to hold all your necessary supplies — toilet paper, magazines, even your cigarettes — in one easy-to reach spot. Some 1963 publicity indicates that some of these even had towel bars that were heated! Hall-Mack Relaxation Units (image from a catalog in my collection, shown above) seemed to have been the most widely distributed, but over the years, with the help of readers — thank you, all! — I’ve collected examples of five different makers: Hall-Mack, Family Hospitality, Satin-Glide, Perma-Bilt, and one “mystery” unit. America was booming … errr, relaxing! — with Relaxation Units!
#1 — Hall-Mack Relaxation Unit:
Sarah is among a number or readers who have reported that their homes came with a Hall-Mack Relaxation Unit in their bathroom. Hall-Mack was such a big, national name, that surely this must be the most common brand we still see in the wild.
Hall-Mack Relaxation Unit’s distinguishing features:
- Magazine rack has angled back.
- Shelf bottom below toilet paper and smoking nook is thin metal
- See Sarah’s bathroom — including her Hall-Mack Relaxation unit (shown above) — here.
And lookie (above), discovered in July 2019, a smaller horizontal unit Relaxation Unit, circa 1956, in an online catalog here. :
#2 — Satin Glide Relaxation Unit:
I spotted this Satin Glide Relaxation Unit in a 1963 catalog for Satin Glide steel bathroom vanities and cabinetry. So cool you could get your relaxation unit painted, too.
Satin Glide Relaxation Unit’s distinguishing features:
- The interior was painted
- Shelf bottom below toilet paper and smoking nook was thick meta, painted.
- Magazine rack had straight back.
- See the complete catalog here.
#3 — Family Hospitality Relaxation Unit:
Above: Kristopher has a “Family Hospitality Relaxation Unit.”
Family Hospitality Relaxation Unit’s distinguishing features:
- Two nooks next to toilet paper!
- Magazine holders are angled sleeves.
- See all of Kristopher’s photos here.
# 4 — Perma-Bilt Relaxation Unit:
And reader Helen hit a jackpot when she spotted two, 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 Relaxation Units! Note: On the photo above, there is protective tape on the front molding protecting the original chrome finish.
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”.
#5 — Mystery Relaxation Unit:
Helen also found this “mystery” unit. No markings. It is distinctive for that extra shelf above the toilet paper and smoking nook. Another model of Perma-Bilt relaxation unit, perhaps?
Thanks to all the readers who have sent their woddities to me! After nearly 10 years of blogging: Are there any more out there I haven’t seen or featured yet?! Stump the chump! Keep them coming!