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This time capsule GE steel kitchen has almost everything GE kitchens were famous for!

Vintage GE steel kitchen cabinetsThis vintage GE steel kitchen is quite amazing: It’s chock full of many of the fabulous features that GE offered in its kitchens starting in about 1955. In addition to the steel kitchen cabinets, there’s:

  • A wall refrigerator
  • “Cabinettes” under the wall cabinets and below the refrigerator
  • A countertop-level oven
  • An undercounter freezer, the first time I’ve ever seen one in the wild — oh my!
  • Original GE Textolite laminate countertops
  • And bins and breadboards and other delights…

This kitchen is currently for sale on Facebook marketplace — and the seller Ariana sent me even better photos to show on the blog. Thank you, Ariana, and your sister Ligaya hosting the kitchen for sale for you! And thanks to the many readers who tipped me tot his kitchen! Let’s take a deep dive look inside >>

vintage GE steel kitchen cabinet setThe kitchen is currently for sale for $500 in Quincy, Mass. Hey! That’s near me. But… but… I already have a vintage steel kitchen!

From the Facebook Marketplace listing:

vintage GE steel kitchen cabientsA full metal kitchen cabinet set made by General Electric in the 50’s. It’s a fitted set in decent shape and includes the original electric cooktop as well as the original oven, both of which are fully functional. There’s a built in freezer within the unit, which will need to be thawed out.

bread storage in vintage steel kitchen cabinetsCabinets feature bread storage area, as well as a built-in combination fridge that will need some handy work if you want to get it running again, otherwise great for storage and aesthetics.

GE cabinettes sliding glass doorsCabinets have original metal wire shelves and additional storage below the top cabinets featuring most of the original frosted glass sliders. Double sink cabinet — can throw in sink, too, as well as the countertops.

It fits along 3 walls. Sink side is approx 41.6” long, 28” deep with countertop. Oven side is approx 32”deep, 53” tall max, 107.25” long. Food freezer/cooktop side is approx 31” deep, 83.5” tall, 181” long.

Doing a kitchen renovation and as much as we love the set, it no longer goes with our decor. Hoping to offload this amazing vintage unit ASAP! Won’t last long – definitely a retro lovers dream find!!

GE vintage steel kitchen cabinets pinkWell, I certainly agree with this: “A retro lover’s dream find!!” And what a beautiful looking mid century modern home — of course, I’m curious to see more of the house!

Back to the kitchen. The sellers were eager to learn more about its history, and I promised to share some of what I know about this kitchen and its provenance. So, following are some ways that this vintage GE steel kitchen cabinet set fits in with previous research on this blog. 

#1 The GE wall cabinet refrigerator:

GE pink wall refrigeratorThe GE wall refrigerator is a favorite vintage item spotted in kitchens. I’ve even heard from a few readers who have operational units.

GE wall refrigerator schematicThe GE wall refrigerator was introduced by GE in 1955 in a variety of colors.

#2 The GE Refrigeration Center

Now things really get fun. To me, the most amazing “find” in this vintage GE kitchen is the undercounter freezer. As I said, I’ve never seen one in the wild before. But I’ve seen one in an advertisement in my personal collection:

Take a GE wall cabinet refrigerator …

GE undercounter freezer… put two undercounter freezers directly below…

GE cabinettes… connect the top and bottom with two “cabinettes” and a countertop…

…set the whole thing by itself… and you have: 

vintage GE refrigeration center…The GE Refrigeration Center!! I do not have an intro date for this unit — that is, I do not have an intro date for the undercounter refrigerators. 

vintage GE refrigeration centerWhat an amazing kitchen feature — and in the GE kitchen set featured in today’s story, we are just one freezer short of an entire Refrigeration Center!

#3 GE Cabinettes

GE cabinettes in mies van der rohe kitchen
Chris restored the GE Wonder Kitchen in his Mies van der Rohe-designed apartment. This Wonder kitchen shows Cabinettes under the wall cabinets.

As I said above, this kitchen features GE “Cabinettes” too — and lots of them! Cabinettes were long narrow sliding-glass-door cabinets that tucked under wall cabinets. There were two heights. The smaller height was used in the GE Refrigeration Unit, the taller height was used under wall cabinets.

GE steel kitchenGolly, just count the Cabinettes in this kitchen! I’m seeing the (2) under the refrigerator, (2) under the wall cabinets and …

ge cabinette units in corner configuration(2) corner cabinets on the left — wow, rare rare rare to see!

lighted GE cabinettesHere’s a look (squint) at the reeded glass doors. These things could also be lighted from the inside! (Have a pro check the wiring / Renovate Safe!)

#4 GE Textolite countertops

GE textolite counter topsYup, GE made countertop laminate, too. It was named Textolite. I don’t know the name of this pattern.

#5 Bins, bread bin, bread board, counter level oven, special cabinets:

It’s also fun to see all the other details in this kitchen:
 vintage coffee and sugar bins in a cabinet drawer Bins for… sugar and coffee? For bread? I’m not sure…Who knows?…

base cabinets for cookie sheets… A special base cabinet just for cookie sheets, including with separators….

pull out cabinet bread board… A pull-out bread board…

bread storage in vintage steel kitchen cabinets… A flour bin …

counterttop oven vintage GE… and a stainless steel oven that sits about counter-level high.

GE steel kitchenOh, and did we mention: It’s pink!

Wow. I’m thinking this kitchen was installed by people who wanted the latest and greatest in kitchen design. It’s a wonder to see it still together (but get thee a vintage dishwasher, stat). Fingers crossed that it will find a very appreciative home. Thanks again to sellers Ariana and Ligaya for taking these photos for us to feature and for permission to archive this kitchen here!!!

Want to buy this kitchen:

See all my stories about steel kitchen cabinets here.

CategoriesSteel kitchens
  1. Penne says:

    I don’t have experience living with a wall-mounted refrigerator, but my home had one. I went to an estate sale not interested in buying any house but ended up buying this one. At the estate sale there was a GE wall-mounted fridge in yellow with pink interior mounted on the wall in the basement. It was running, clean, and in perfect condition. Absolutely no rust or crud. I think it ended up selling for $85. I would have loved to have kept it, but it sold and was removed before I could do the house deal. The house was built in 1965 and the ‘fridge’ was original to the kitchen. At some point the kitchen was remodeled and it was moved to the basement. My Dad built houses in the late 50s and early 60s and installed several of these. His opinion is that in houses without central air-conditioning the units tended to “sweat” and ruin walls and floors and generally caused problems. My home has always had central air, so perhaps that’s why the fridge survived 50 plus years.

  2. Joe says:

    Dan, the only experiences I had with these built-in “dream” kitchens were stories repeatedly shared by my late mom. She was famous for constantly reminding us with examples of mistakes she didn’t want us to make (such as gas refrigerator and front loader washer)! She was always on-trend with the latest and most modern ideas for postwar homes and was really smitten with these GE kitchen unit walls, but something told her to hold back on it and wait to hear input from her friends who were getting them installed. Was she happy she waited! Everyone who got those eye-level refrigerators quickly regretted them. As if the parents of large families didn’t have enough to do already, they were constantly running to the kitchen to assist because the kids couldn’t reach to open the doors, let alone get to any of the contents. Adults of short stature couldn’t access the top shelves without assistance or using a stepstool. Rare was the home with central air or air conditioning and, in the humid weather of New Jersey, everyone was mad as heck about the condensation on the exteriors constantly dripping onto the countertops and running down the walls – causing mold, peeled paint and lifted wallpaper. It soon became apparent that these units were the ultimate in planned obsolescence, because if one of the appliances broke down and were deemed unrepairable, the entire wall unit became obsolete and needed to be torn out, in order to return to a conventional kitchen of standard upper and lower cabinets, with freestanding easily replaceable appliances.

  3. Mary says:

    The house I grew up in was from the 40s and had the pull out wooden cutting board and one of the metal pull out bread boxes but the cabinets were not metal but that brings back memories! Would love to have this kitchen!

  4. DJ Sparkles says:

    Oh, how I would love this! But I live on the other side of the country, so it’s not going to happen. I’ve always admired the counter-top refrigerators, but my kitchen is too small for one. And good to know the cons about them, as I’m already a recovering mold victim and don’t need any more mold! (My mold was courtesy of the Cedar Hills Rec Center in Beaverton, Oregon, where I used to exercise. And yes on the no on front-load washers, another known mold hazard!)

    But I would dearly love those cabinettes, which is a handy feature we never should have abandoned!

  5. Cyd says:

    Ah, I remember our “cabinettes” I grew up with and hadn’t seen them elsewhere. I suppose they are gone since all the other metal cabinets are used in other places in the basement these days. My mother must have known about the pullout cutting board since we have one made of the materials used in the 1970’s kitchen remodel of the house built in 1900.

    [She also remodeled the blue bathroom to enlarge it in the 1970’s, but the yellow bathroom with pink fixtures remain intact. I suppose that’s why I fell in love with our 1958 midcentury modest house. Midcentury modern was out of my price range.]

  6. Ronda Vallejo says:

    This kitchen functions so much better than the kitchen I have today! I love the wall fridge, and the glass doors. My dream home would have a kitchen like this!

  7. Ronda Vallejo says:

    When I was very young, my parents lived in a tiny house that they’d bought in the late 30’s. It had a large bin for flour, but I would imagine potatoes would have been a common thing in bins, too.

  8. Rosy says:

    Humorous that we all think that pull out breadboard is a “cutting board.” It just goes to show how far away from that kitchen we are. They were intended for making bread…the kneading part. Not for cutting on. Most of us cannot imagine making bread so often that we would need a kitchen tool specifically designed for it!

    My grandmother had one and through the mid-70’s was still baking bread weekly and cookies nearly every day (she was every kid in the neighborhoods adopted grama and they all stopped at her house on the way home from school). She never let us cut on her breadboard.

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