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).
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?)
My 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.
- Looking at five other catalogs that give some picture of what was marketed over time, I *think* I can identify Crosleys (either branded as Nationaline, or left ambiguously unbranded)… Avco Americans … and I think there are a few other brands represented too. Ya gotta scrutinize, then cross-reference the drawer-and-door designs and pull and/or knob designs with other brands in my Retro Renovation® Encyclopedia of Vintage Steel Kitchen Cabinets.
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:
- The Retro Renovation® Encyclopedia of Vintage Steel Kitchen Cabinets
- A Short History (ummm) of Steel Kitchen Cabinets
- All my stories about steel kitchen cabinets