One of my goals for 2019 is to work diligently at filling out The Retro Renovation® Encyclopedia of Vintage Steel Kitchen Cabinets. I have about 85 brands identified, and now the question is, do I have catalogs for all of them? I may well, and here’s a first set of uploads to share, for: Berger Steel Cabinets, made by the Berger Manufacturing Division of Republic Steel Corporation, Canton 5, Ohio. There’s a price list with a notation suggesting this catalog is from 1949.
Going through all my brochures, really reading them, and annotating key findings will help me pull together an even more well-researched, more granular history of steel kitchen cabinets.
For example, we already know there were also Republic Steel Kitchen cabinets made by Republic Steel. I suspect that Bergers came first — typically / likely through acquisition — and that with a few short years, Republic just took over the name. Mark this catalog: 1949. Now let me see how it fits in the timeline with the Republic steel kitchens material I can come up with.
The other reason to show these catalogs is to help owners of cabinets today identify their. For example, I am not seeing a logo on these Bergers. Logos (later?) became common on the sink base. So if you have a set of Bergers, you will need to identify it by its features — voila: Catalog to help!
This is a really big catalog. For this story, an overview, I excerpted.
There were A LOT of cabinet sizes — I don’t show them all.
This catalog is interesting because it’s very nitty-gritty — shows the man of the house or perhaps that’s your local lumber store installer — actually doing the installation.
I this was the lumber store copy — it’s a heavy duty catalog with a price list at the back.
Above: Wow, a line of 20″ deep cabinets — along with a “roll rim” sink that’s only 20″ deep. This is very old-style.
Republic Steel was a ginormous company. I think that a lot of Berger steel kitchen cabinets … then, a lot of Republic Steel Kitchen Cabinets were sold back in the day.
- See this history of Republic Storage — still in business today!
Installation instructions are included — these Bergers hung on steel hanger thingies. I am going to feature these separately, as I often get questions about how to un-install steel kitchen cabinets. I’ll post just those pages with a headline that gets me the right google juice.
You could have any color kitchen as long as it was white.
I have lots more info about vintage (and new!) steel kitchen cabinets:
- A short history of steel kitchen cabinets
- The Retro Renovation Encyclopedia of Steel Kitchen Cabinets
- My entire Steel Kitchen Cabinets sub-category including stories about readers who have used them