Nationaline steel kitchen cabinets — our 96th brand of vintage metal kitchen cabinets — sort of

nationaline steel kitchen cabinets
Here’s our 96th brand of vintage metal kitchen cabinets, but not really (explanation to come): Nationaline brand steel kitchen cabinets. Thanks to reader Jim for this tip. I am now proud owner of this undated catalog… errr “planalog” (explanation to come).
nationaline steel kitchen cabinets The reason I say these are the 96th brand, qualified, is that:

  • The cabinets in this catalog DO seem to have been marketed as “Nationaline” brand.
  • But, I will bet my bonus that the cabinets shown here were made and also marketed by another company, not Nationaline. I haven’t done conclusive legwork to try and identify the brand pictured above (Crosley, maybe?)

nationaline steel kitchen cabinetsMy theory: Nationaline started out selling Youngstowns by the Youngstown name. They then sold other brands without calling them Nationaline brand. Finally, they marketed units they called Nationaline brand. 

nationaline planalog
A Nationaline Planalog from the MBJ Collection/Building Technology Heritage Library

Nationaline Hardware Stores, Inc.

When I get some more time it’s on my list to see what I can dig up on Nationaline Hardware Stores, Inc. This registration indicates the company was based in Springfield, Mass. and operated from 1961 to 1995.

Local retailers around the nation appear to have signed up to be Nationaline dealers — had the Nationaline name appended to their store name in one way or another — and stocked and sold the products in the Nationaline catalog. From the dealer info printed on the catalogs, these catalogs appear to have been mass produced by Nationaline and provided to local retailers who then mailed them directly into their marketplaces.

Oh, and they’re not “catalogs”. They’re “planners” + “catalogs” = “Planalogs”! Those marketeers were working overtime on that one.

You are now in the universe’s epicenter of midcentury American steel kitchen cabinet research:

CategoriesSteel kitchens
  1. Cmarti says:

    I love how you’ve dug into these steel cabinets! I’ve learned a lot, maybe one day you’ll combine it all into a book? I’d buy it! Glad to see you’re back to posting!

  2. Katie says:

    Woo hoo! Pam is back! I’m so glad you took a well-deserved break, but I’ve missed your updates so much. Your new place looks great 🙂

  3. carolyn says:

    “Planalogs” – I just think they were more creative back then when they were in the “Let’s make up words” phase. You have to admit, the term is more descriptive.
    Catalog: (noun) a complete list of items, typically one in alphabetical or other systematic order.
    That doesn’t really sum up what they were doing. You’d be PLANning your kitchen out of their catalog.

  4. Cynthia Howe says:

    Saw this article when finishing up our kitchen renovation. Kept and revamped our original cabinetry because you just don’t find that level if quality these days. My goal was to create a pearlized finish on the cabinet doors to emulate metal. Had a heck of a time doing this. Many trial runs, product research, techniques. I tend to be a perfectionist and am not 100% happy with results. Any tips?

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