Back in the day, steel kitchen cabinets were pretty popular — so far, I’ve catalogued 90+ brands. But vintage aluminum kitchen cabinets? They were not very common at all, as far my research indicates.
So far I’ve heard of only two brands of aluminum kitchen cabinets, and one of them — Hotpoint, the subject of this story — I only spotted after 12 years of blogging. Hotpoint also made a line of steel kitchen cabinets, and I’ve seen a fair amount of marketing for them, so I also tend to believe: These Hotpoint aluminum kitchen cabinets are quite rare.
This brochure, currently in my personal collection, seems to be from February 1948. The brochure touts the cabinets as “new”, so let’s say they were introduced in 1947 or 1948:
Lustrous kitchen cabinets made with the modern miracle metal, ALUMINUM — a “never-before” Hotpoint offer.” They’re light in weight, durable, and non-corrosive for long, satisfying service….
How to tell if you have an aluminum vs. steel kitchen cabinets? I am not an expert, but readers have said: Put a magnet on a cabinet — steel will hold a magnet, aluminum will not.
Hotpoint a brand of Edison General Electric
In this ad, we see that Hotpoint had steel kitchen cabinets as early as 1940. We also see: Hotpoint was owned by Edison General Electric.
The brochure for the new 1948 aluminum kitchen cabinets shows the usual array of sizes and types. I don’t see any mention of color options, so I presume: White was the only color available.
Photo viewing tip: On a desktop or laptop computer, after the page has fully loaded, click on any photo, and it should enlarge to 1000 pixels wide.
Linoleum tops trimmed in stainless steel were offered in four colors: Black Marbelle, Terra Cotta Red, Black, and Jaspe. Very 1940s colors for kitchen countertops. Custom tops also were available, the brochure says.
The only other brand of aluminum kitchen cabinets that I know of were Olympia Aluminum Kitchen Cabinets. The manufacturer of these cabinets, Western Metalcraft / Metalware also made them in steel.
My brochure came from the famed Francis Fry General Store, Millerton, Iowa
The other thing interesting about this cabinet brochure: It was stamped Francis Fry Shops, Millerton, Iowa. Quick research indicates that Francis Fry’s was a famed general store, offering everything — and the kitchen sink from Hotpoint too, it appears! It opened in 1944 and just closed last year.
You are now in the epicenter of all metal kitchen cabinet research:
- The Retro Renovation® Encyclopedia of Vintage Steel Kitchen Cabinets
- A Short History of Steel Kitchen Cabinets
- All my stories about steel kitchen cabinets