Morton Steel Kitchen Cabinets were another relatively early brand. And oh so cute: They called their cabinets “Kit Unette”s and had an illustrated model by the same name. My four-page brochure does not have a date on it, but I found a site that has these cabinets launching in 1942. Note: I think this catalog is from later. Earlier in the blog’s history, we saw much more complicated deco-design Mortons that surely must have pre-dated these full-overlay door styles.
According to this history on the Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society website, Morton Manufacturing began manufacturing its steel cabinets in 1942 in Libertyville, Illinois. The Historical Society says the cabinets were sold through a division of Nash-Kelvinator Sales Corp. and had as many as 130 employees by the mid-1950s. Hmmm… I believe that at some point we also had Kelvinator cabinets. Another relationship to try and wrangle once the Encyclopedia is more built out and I can look at things side-by-side.
More googling, and I find that a company called Metalex acquired Morton in 2005. By then, Morton was focusing on another product. All’s still based in Libertyville today, though!
Metalex’s website also says that Morton had been in business since 1903. So, let’s guess they always worked in metals, and a line extension into metal kitchen cabinets in the 1940s became part of their growing business.
- Current Morton set on sale from seller ickeydooey >> here <<
Some features of these est. 1950s Morton metal kitchen cabinets
Above: Distinctive-ish cabinet pulls.
Above: Interestingly, Morton would make your sink base to any size — eliminating the need for those annoying filler strips (and lost inches).
And in the photo at the bottom, note what looks to be Morton’s alternative design to a hudee ring. Remember: We have documentation that at one point there were 1,062 different sizes of hudee rings made! You know this is one of my favorite topics ever. Hudee hudee hudee. Oh, see the text of the Morton gasket it mentions lead, not one of my favorite topics ever, but adulting: Renovate safe.
Above: Here’s how the Morton wall cabinets were hung. [I am sure they don’t mean for you to STAND ON THE KITCHEN COUNTERTOP to hang your wall cabinets, including all by yourself, like Ms. Kit Unette shown here!]
Of course, this particular hanging method does not necessarily apply to any other cabinets. Remember: We’re at, like 90 brands, including many that were redesigned over the years, like cars.
All cabinets came in white, but you could order special colors.
So there you have them: Morton Steel Kitchen Cabinets. I mean, Kab Unettes!
You are now in the universe’s epicenter of all steel kitchen cabinet research:
- The Retro Renovation® Encyclopedia of Vintage Steel Kitchen Cabinets
- A Short History (ummm) of Steel Kitchen Cabinets
- All my stories about steel kitchen cabinets