Antique Hoosier Cabinet with Flour Sifter and Bread Box
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Seller:owlboi✉️(281)100%, Location:Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, Ships to: Free Local Pickup, Item:284201884195Antique Hoosier Cabinet with Flour Sifter and Bread Box. This cabinet is absolutely beautiful and in great shape. The flour sifter works. We were told when we purchased this cabinet that it was a Sellers Hoosier, but there are no labels on it to determine one way or another. 70” tall x 47” wide x 27” deep The top separates from the bottom so this can easily be transported in a small SUV or van. Local Pickup at Roller Mills in Lewisburg, PAAll returns accepted:ReturnsNotAccepted, Antique:Yes, Type:Cabinet, Original/Licensed Reproduction:Original, Item Height:70 in, Style:Americana, Material:Oak, Featured Refinements:Antique Hoosier Cabinet, Time Period Manufactured:1900-1950, Item Length:47 in, Item Width:27 in
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13,343 views, 60.9 views per day, 219 days on eBay. Super high amount of views. 0 sold, 1 available.
281+ items sold. 0% negative feedback. Great seller with very good positive feedback and over 50 ratings.
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Growing up, I remember an old oak cabinet sitting in my grandma’s dining room. She used it to store her China and display her decorative dishes. I never knew there was a name for it, and I always called it a hutch. Maybe sometimes even a sideboard.
Years later, I learned that it was called a Hoosier cabinet, and it was intended to be much more than a storage cabinet. The majority of these cabinets were made in Indiana, which is where the name comes from, and it provided a workspace for nineteenth century homemakers.
What is it?
Image by Internet Archive Book Images via Flickr
An antique Hoosier cabinet gets its name because most were manufactured in Indiana. The first vintage Hoosier cabinet models gained popularity in 1898 and they stuck around until the 1940s when their use started dwindling.
They were made by the Sellers furniture company and were intended to hold things you would very frequently use in the kitchen like sugar, spices, and flour. It also had built-in functioning parts like meat grinders, flour sifters, a grocery list wheel, cookbook holders, and spice carousels.
It assisted in the speed of making meals to ensure that everything was in one place and ready when you needed it.
Some modern Hoosier cabinet models have prep sinks with running water and garbage disposals and outlets for small electronic appliances like mixers and blenders. It’s intended to offer a separate work space from the rest of the kitchen and is a great solution for allowing multiple chefs to use the same space at the same time.
It’s a beautiful, functional piece of furniture for a kitchen and is much larger than a traditional hutch with a lot more versatility.
History of a Hoosier Cabinet
Image via Wikimedia Commons
Until the 1920s, it was rare to see a house with a built-in kitchen cabinet. If you were purchasing a home, it very seldom featured storage space in the kitchen area. Without a kitchen cabinet of some sort, you couldn’t store any of your necessities.
These cabinets came about because they were very useful in homes from around 1890 to 1940. Even when homes began featuring cabinets, many people were so accustomed to having Hoosier cabinets in their kitchen that they were still being manufactured through the 1940s.
The largest manufacturers included The Hoosier Manufacturing Company, G.I. Sellers and Sons, McDougall Company, Coppes Brothers and Zook, and Campbell-Smith-Richie.
As Hoosier cabinets evolved, they included additional accessories that made cooking much easier. The peak of their popularity was in the 1920s and began to decline with the production of built-in kitchen cabinets and countertops.
Image via Wikipedia
Near the end of the nineteenth century, furniture manufacturers (The Hoosier Manufacturing Company being the first to hop on board) realized they could very easily sell stand alone storage cabinets with workspaces. They marketed these as equipment and ingredient storage for a cook’s kitchen.
As the Hoosier Manufacturing Company grew, it marketed the product heavily, and the term became generic for the Hoosier style of cabinet that many other manufacturers began to produce. In fact, they sold two million cabinets between its inception until 1920.
The U.S. had 20 million households at the time, which means about 10% of homes had one of these cabinets.
Even though Hoosier style cabinet models were still sold, the depression made sales difficult, and when people began to buy modern homes with built-in cabinets, the piece became old fashioned. The two largest manufacturers of vintage Hoosier cabinet models were out of business by 1950.
Unique Features and Design
Image via Wikimedia Commons
Hoosier cabinets have several identifying features among which include its style, construction, manufacturer, and art deco components.
They have deep lower cabinets for large pots and pans. The workspace countertop is typically made of porcelain. The upper cabinet is more shallow. It has built-in spice rack, flour bin, sugar bin, flour sifters, meat grinders, and other necessary kitchen appliances.
They are typically made of wood. Those made before 1920 are solid oak, but some are walnut, white maple, or pine.
While the manufacturer that made them popular was the Hoosier Manufacturing Company, there were a few others. A genuine Hoosier kitchen cabinet made by the Hoosier Manufacturing Company had a trademark cabinet doors fasteners marked with an “H.”
The Sellers company marked theirs with a metal tag on the front of the cabinets. Others put marks on the bottom or back of the cabinets, and you may even find a stamp with a manufacturing date.
Some manufacturers, like Sellers, tried to add modern finish to their Hoosier style cabinet models with curved lines, a glass door, or contrasting paint colors. Today, there aren’t as highly sought after as the more traditional Hoosier kitchen cabinet designs.
How to Identify a Hoosier Cabinet
Image via Wikimedia Commons
If you’re in the market for a Hoosier cabinet, you’re going to want to know how to identify them so that you’re sure you’re paying for a genuine item. There are a few things to look for when checking it out.
First, it should follow the three-compartment design. Every antique Hoosier cabinet has deep lower cabinets, a porcelain workspace, and shallow upper cabinet. You’ll typically find a bin for sugar; glass containers for coffee, tea, and spices; and a flour sifter at the workspace.
Any drawers you find should be lined with tin. They were meant to keep bread fresh for longer, and there should be at least one drawer somewhere under the workspace that is lined this way.
Finally, look for a manufacturer’s stamp. You’ll find a date of manufacturing that will tell you whether or not it’s genuine. However, you can also look for the trademarks signs like cabinet doors fasteners marked with “H,” a metal tag on the front of the cabinets, or a mark on the back side or the bottom of the cabinets.
Manufacturers of genuine Hoosier cabinets include Hoosier, Sellers, Wilson, Boone, Kitchen Maid, McDougall, and Napanee.
Related: Learn about some of the best vintage breadboxes for your kitchen
Hoosier Cabinet Pricing
Image via Wikimedia Commons
Don’t pay for something if you’re not sure it’s genuine. If you can verify its authenticity, you can expect to pay between $300 and $2000. Condition has a lot to do with value. Cabinets made of 100% wood in excellent condition will go for around $2000.
That’s quite the markup, considering that when they were first produced, they went for about $20.
While these solid wood designs are highly sought after, you may be willing to pay a bit more for something of lesser quality if you like the look of it better. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and you’ll find a lot of different designs and colors out there.
Genuine Hoosier cabinets make great additions to your dining room or kitchen. They can be elegant display pieces as well as functional accessories. They’re great accent pieces, sparking conversation, and enhancing your farmhouse kitchen design.
About Sarah Caldwell
Sarah is a God-fearing wife and mother of four. She enjoys spending time with her family and the great outdoors. Experiences over things is her mantra, and she loves rustic farmhouse decor, wood burning stoves, and old-timey practices that need to make a dramatic comeback.
Oh the Hoosier…
What self-respecting, antique-loving, old house aficionado doesn’t have a Hooiser… or has pined for one all her/his adult life?
House Crazy Sarah has compiled some photos of these amazing multi-functional beauties for your enjoyment.
Being House Crazy Sarah, she can’t let this opportunity go by without giving you a little history lesson….
The Hoosier cabinet was an incredibly popular kitchen fixture from the 1890’s to the 1930’s. At the height of their popularity, there were more than 250,000 Hoosier cabinets manufactured a year.
A Hoosier cabinet (also known simply as a “Hoosier”) is a type of free standing cupboard that served as a utilitarian workspace.
Most homes in the Victorian era and early 20th century did not have banks of built-in cabinetry like we do nowadays so this necessitated a functional piece of furniture that would fit in among the wash basin, ice box, and wood stove.
So why are they called “Hoosiers”? Are they from Indiana?
Yes, they actually are – sort of.
The Hoosier Manufacturing Co. of New Castle, Indiana, was one of the earliest and largest manufacturers of these cabinets, thus earning the piece of furniture the lovable nickname “Hoosier”.
Hoosier cabinets evolved over the years to include more accessories and innovations that made work in the kitchen, well, fun.
Hoosier cabinets were distinctive because of their many moving parts and accessories. They came equipped with various racks and hardware to hold and organize spices and other common kitchen staples.
One of their most distinctive features was the combination flour-bin/sifter which could be used without having to remove it from the cabinet.
Sugar bins were also common in Hoosiers.
Additional accessories added over the years included specially fitted glass jars, coffee and tea canisters, salt boxes, and spice jars.
Some later Hoosiers (like the one below) even included ironing boards!
Today you can still buy chic imitation cabinets to showcase all your pretties…
But they are not the true workhorses of decades past.
Hoosiers peaked in popularity in the 1920s, and then declined as home builders started including built-in kitchen cabinets and counter tops. Sadly, the Hoosier Manufacturing Company was sold in 1942 and liquidated.
Today, Hoosiers are coveted collector pieces.
Let’s sit back and appreciate the many forms, colors, and iterations of the beloved Hooiser cabinet…
Antique Kitchen Cabinet With Flour Sifter
It s about 5 inches tall and 4 inches in diameter. Features full length pull out country flour bin with sifter auto slide out shelf when left base cabinet door is opened manual slide out shelf in base cabinet potato bin with cover in lower right hand drawer.
Antique Biederman Hoosier Cabinet Antique Kitchen Cabinets
There is minor cosmetic wear tear but nothing that affects the functionality of the piece.
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The piece has lots of rust and patina. Antique 1920 s hoosier cabinet with flour sifter porcelain top vintage. The hoosier cabinet is an example of one that had a flour dispenser and potentially other tools that eased the cook s work.
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Go To Current Inventory
Item sold on 2017-07-27 - Shipped on 2017-08-07
Shipper: ZZ - RICK HILL (336-848-1214)
An oak "Hoosier" style pantry cupboard with a flour sifter, roll top and pull out enamel work surface dates from about 1915.
The restored finish is in excellent condition on this American made antique kitchen furniture. Nickel hardware and the tin bread drawer are original.
The upper cabinet is removable for easy delivery. Dimensions are 40" wide, 25" deep, 66 1/2" tall and the work top is 31" high.
See 28 photos on Harp Gallery website that enlarge to full screen size.
Please call or e-mail for an independent shipping quote.
Copyright ©1998-2021 Harp Gallery Antique Furniture.
All rights reserved.
Are you a fan of antique Hoosier cabinets? Perhaps you’re a collector who loves the simplistic beauty of antique Hoosier cabinets… Or even someone who just wants to have a Hoosier cabinet in their kitchen for aesthetic plus functional purposes? If you’ve seen the perfect antique Hoosier cabinet that will fulfill your yearning for this magnificent piece of furniture, how do you know if it’s an antique and what its value is?
Let’s take a look.
History of the Hoosier Cabinet
The Hoosier Cabinet first made an appearance in 1898, and was manufactured by the Indiana company Sellers. It got its name from Indiana – which is also known as the Hoosier State since 1950! It became wildly popular with other furniture companies in Indiana also undertaking manufacture of this cabinet.
In fact, up to the later 1930s and early 1940s, these cabinets were churned out at a high pace – because of the demand. The popularity of this cabinet grew and grew, with the Hoosier Manufacturing Co. making 600 Hoosier cabinets every day! This company sold more than 2 million cabinets by 1920.
Other major manufacturers of the Hoosier cabinet at the time were the McDougall Company, G. I. Sellers, Campbell-Smith-Ritchie (Boone), Diamond Kitchen Cabinets and Coppes Brothers and Zook (the Napanee).
The popularity then waned because of the introduction of built-in kitchen cooking and storage units. The Hoosier Manufacturing Co was sold in 1942 and then liquidated, so records of Hoosier cabinets became very scarce.
What’s An Antique Hoosier Cabinet?
The antique Hoosier cabinet was more than just a kitchen cupboard: It was made with fixed and moving parts to enable the chef in the kitchen to have everything in one place for easy retrieval and cooking.
Antique Hoosier cabinets had storage space for sugar, flour, rice and spices, and it also had movable parts such as a flour sifter, a sugar sifter, a spice rack, a dish rack, a meat grinder, a pull-out bread board, a grocery list wheel, a cookbook holder, an in-built ant trap, a and even nutritional charts.
Hoosier cabinets were designed with one goal: To make cooking and baking more efficient and timely for women who had a lot more to do than spend the day in the kitchen.
How To Identify an Antique Hoosier Cabinet
Hoosier cabinets are revered and loved by antique lovers – which is why so many people attempt to recreate them! To avoid buying a reproduction for the value of an antique one, we need to be able to identify antique Hoosier cabinets. So whether you’re buying an antique Hoosier cabinet, or checking if the one you have is an antique, here’s how you identify the authentic from the reproduction!
1. Check The Design
Hoosier cabinets are quite unique, which is why you should first check out the specifics. Antique Hoosier cabinets were six feet tall, two feet deep and four feet wide. Does the one you’re trying to identify check these boxes?
Hoosier cabinets usually have a specific design in that they have a work-table surface in the middle where you can gather ingredients, make bread or gather up ingredients. They also have a bottom part that encompasses cabinets and drawers for storage, as well as an upper part with closed cupboard for additional storage.
2. Wood Used
Antique Hoosier cabinets were made out of oak and painted apple-green and ivory. These colors later disappeared, and then reappeared as most companies started making and selling Hoosier cabinets. Later versions were also made with other woods such as pine, and then enamel! Other woods used were light maple, walnut, oak and even pine.
3. Accessories for Antique Hoosier Cabinets
Antique Hoosier cabinets are known for their distinctive charm as well as the accessories used in the making. Some of these accessories/moving parts include a flour sifter, a spices rack, a dish-rack, a sugar sifter and other movable parts that make an antique Hoosier cabinet unique!
4. Manufacturer’s Mark
All original Hoosier cabinets have a manufacturer’s mark somewhere on the cabinet – usually hidden from sight. Hoosier hid their manufacturer’s mark so well, it takes a person who known them to find out exactly where their mark is: An ‘H’ on the door fasteners! Other companies that manufactured Hoosier cabinets in the early 20th century used stamps or metal tags with a company logo and date of manufacture.
There’s a book called ‘The Hoosier Cabinet in Kitchen History’, which has in-depth information on all the Hoosier Cabinets ever made by different firms. If you have a specific model, this book can help you identify exactly what model your antique Hoosier cabinet is! You can even head online, since most websites that sell antique and vintage Hoosier cabinets such as Hoosiercabinet.com have photos that can help you identify yours!
How to Value an Antique Hoosier Cabinet
While Hoosier cabinets are either vintage or antique due to the fact that they were made over a century ago, they aren’t as antique as pieces from other time periods, and this can affect their value a bit. In fact, most antique Hoosier cabinets are values based on their functional and aesthetic value rather than the time period they were made.
Let’s take a look at some of the key features for valuing antique Hoosier Cabinets.
- Condition – When it comes to antique Hoosier cabinets, the condition of the cabinet is what drives the value of the piece.
- Accessories – Does the Hoosier cabinet have all of its original accessories? If it does, the value rockets. Some Hoosier cabinets had rare accessories such as meat grinders, which tend to increase the value of the piece.
- Wood Used – Antique Hoosier cabinets were made from different types of woods, with the most common ones being oak, pine, white maple and walnut. Those made of oak or walnut tend to be valued higher than those made from pine.
- Originality – With Hoosier cabinets, over time some part or the other may be replaced to restore its aesthetic value. However, when it comes to valuing the cabinet, this can drive down the value severely. An antique Hoosier in great condition but having been restored with other parts isn’t as valuable as the one which may be in a worse condition but is entirely original. It’s worth it to note that when identifying a Hoosier cabinet for your home – or collection – it’s best to check if the top part and bottom part are made by the same manufacturer and with the same material!
Generally, when it comes to antique Hoosier cabinets, the better they look with age, the more they fetch. A perfect-condition antique Hoosier cabinet can sell for $2000 or more, while one requiring repair or restoration can be valued at only $200-$300.
Antique Hoosier Cabinets Sold
Some of the best –condition antique Hoosier cabinets that have been listed or sold recently are:
Where Can You Get Your Antique Hoosier Cabinet Valued?
Let’s face it: Hoosier cabinets are notoriously heavy to move around, so it’s going to be difficult to get yours appraised unless you call in a professional appraiser – which might be very expensive. This is why you can get yours appraised online by sending photographs of your antique Hoosier cabinet to auction sites – and getting a free ball-park figure appraisal.
Buying an Antique Hoosier Cabinet
Remember, Hoosier cabinets are quite heavy, so if you want to get one, it might be best to source it locally. However, if you’ve seen one you really love and want it, look into the shipping costs to bring it home so you don’t pay through the nose! The best places to get an antique Hoosier cabinet in great condition are eBay, Craigslist, GoAntiques and liveauctioneers.
A Valuable Antique Hoosier Cabinet
You can’t go wrong with a Hoosier Cabinet in your kitchen – or dining room. This is because Hoosier cabinets are both aesthetically pleasing as well as highly functional for both storage as well as for showcasing your collectibles!
This classic beauty is quite a collector’s item so if you’re looking for one, try to get one that has good value, is in good condition and complements your kitchen. On the other hand, if you’ve already got one that you want to sell that’s beautiful and in great condition, look for someone who’ll give it the perfect home!
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Type of cupboard serving as a workstation
A Hoosier cabinet (also known as a "Hoosier") is a type of cupboard or free-standing kitchen cabinet that also serves as a workstation. It was popular in the first few decades of the 20th century in the United States, since most houses did not have built-in kitchen cabinetry. The Hoosier Manufacturing Co. of New Castle, Indiana, was one of the earliest and largest manufacturers of this product, causing the term "Hoosier cabinet" to become a generic term for that type of furniture. By 1920, the Hoosier Manufacturing Company had sold two million cabinets.
Hoosier-style cabinets were also made by dozens of other companies, and most were in the Hoosier State or located nearby. Some of the larger manufacturers were Campbell-Smith-Ritchie (Boone); Coppes Brothers and Zook (the Napanee); McDougall Company; and G. I. Sellers and Sons. Hoosier cabinets evolved over the years to include more accessories and innovations that made life easier for cooks in the kitchen. They peaked in popularity in the 1920s, then declined as homes began to be constructed with built-in kitchen cabinets and counter tops. The Hoosier Manufacturing Company was sold in 1942 and liquidated. Today, Hoosier cabinets are valued by antique collectors.
From 1890 to 1930, more houses were built in the United States than all of the country's prior years combined. Very few homes had built-in kitchen cabinets during the 19th century, and it was not until the late 1920s that built-in cabinets became a standard kitchen furnishing.
Around the 1890s, several furniture manufacturers in Indiana discovered that a stand-alone kitchen cabinet with storage and a workspace (essentially a baker's cabinet with extra storage) was easy to sell. It was a kitchen workstation with ingredient and equipment storage where the cook could complete all food preparation and not move until it was time to cook the food. The Hoosier Manufacturing Company was one of those early manufacturers. In 1900, the company moved a short distance from Albany, Indiana to New Castle, Indiana. It began improving its manufacturing and distribution process, and was a strong believer in advertising. By 1906, it had 146 employees. The company's product was nationally promoted as a step saver, and its popularity led to the term Hoosier cabinet becoming a generic term for that style of kitchen cabinet—similar to the term kleenex (the facial tissue called Kleenex manufactured by Kimberly-Clark) becoming a generic term for facial tissues.
Hoosier cabinets were very popular from 1900 to 1930. Hoosier Manufacturing sold two million cabinets from its inception to 1920, and additional cabinets were sold by the company's competitors. Given that there were approximately 20 million households in the US at that time, as much as 10% of homes had Hoosier cabinets made by Hoosier Manufacturing, and an additional unknown quantity had Hoosier cabinets made by competing companies.
Hoosier cabinets remained popular until the 1920s. By then houses were being built with modern kitchens that included built-in cabinets, counter tops, and other fixtures. Thus supplanted, the Hoosier cabinet largely disappeared. Some manufacturers diversified into built-in cabinets and kitchen furniture. The Great Depression made sales more difficult. By 1935, Hoosier cabinets were considered "old fashioned". The two largest manufacturers, Hoosier Manufacturing and G. I. Sellers and Sons, were closed in 1942 and 1950, respectively.
A Hoosier cabinet is a stand-alone kitchen cabinet, often on small casters. It is considered an improved version of a baker's cabinet. A baker's cabinet is a table with one or more bins underneath. It has a small work surface and a shallower upper section on top of the table that was used for storing bowls, pans, and kitchen utensils. The Hoosier cabinet expands on the baker's cabinet by offering a pull-out workspace/shelf and storage for everything a cook would need. The base section usually has one large compartment with the slide-out shelf covered in metal that offers more workspace, and several drawers to one side. The top portion is shallower and has several smaller compartments with doors.
The majority of the Hoosier cabinets are about 48 inches (120 cm) wide by 22 inches (56 cm) deep by 72 inches (180 cm) high. In addition to their storage capacity, they offer about 40 inches (100 cm) of work space that was not available in the standard kitchen of the early 20th century other than the kitchen table. A distinctive feature of the Hoosier cabinet is its many moving parts and accessories. As originally supplied, they were equipped with various racks and other hardware to hold and organize spices and various staples. One particularly distinctive item is the combination flour-bin/sifter, a hopper that could be used without having to remove it from the cabinet. A similar sugar bin was also common. Additional accessories and innovations were added over the years. Special glass jars were manufactured to fit the cabinet and its racks. Original sets of Hoosier glassware consisted of coffee and tea canisters, a salt box, and four to eight spice jars. Some manufacturers also included a cracker jar.[Note 1] Colored glassware, ant-proof casters, and even ironing boards were innovations added later.[Note 2] Later models even included cards with reminders for grocery shopping and tips for meal planning.
Hoosier cabinets were made mostly from the late 1890s through the 1930s, reaching their peak in popularity during the 1920s. The major manufacturers of Hoosier cabinets at that time were located in Indiana. Hoosier Manufacturing was the largest.
The company began as Campbell & Smith in 1892, and it was primarily a lumber yard and planing mill. Lebanon is the county seat of Boone County, Indiana, and Campbell-Smith-Ritchie named its Hoosier-style kitchen cabinets Boone Kitchen Cabinets in honor of the county. In 1905, the lumberyard was destroyed by fire. The company built a new facility on the edge of town. By 1910, its kitchen cabinet making business was doing so well that the lumberyard portion of the business was discontinued. An Indiana inspection report for 1913 described the company as engaged in manufacturing furniture and having 90 employees. It was also the largest employer inspected in Lebanon.
The company advertised nationally, and claimed its product was designed by women from all over the nation. Models of the Boone cabinets were differentiated with names such as the Mary Boone, Bertha Boone (a larger model with storage closets at each end), and Betty Boone (a small model for apartments or smaller homes). Some included a hidden ironing board. The company, like many companies, prospered until the Great Depression. Demand for Hoosier cabinets declined at the time, first because of the difficult economic times, but also because homes began to be built with built–in cabinetry in the kitchen. The company responded by cutting back on employee hours and diversifying into built-in kitchen cabinets and breakfast dining sets. This strategy enabled it to survive into 1940 when it was sold. The company continued for another 18 months, but was then liquidated.
Coppes Brothers and Zook
The Coppes Brothers and Zook decided to concentrate on kitchen cabinets in 1914. Their manufacturing facility was located in Nappanee, Indiana, and their Hoosier cabinet brand name was the Napanee Dutch Kitchenet (spelled with only one "p"). Using data from a study by a famous efficiency engineer (Harrington Emerson), the company claimed that their product could save 1,592 steps per day.
Earlier, the Coppes brothers had a sawmill business, a box manufacturing factory, and a furniture manufacturing company. An Indiana inspection report for 1913 described their company (named Coppes, Zook, and Mutschler Co. at that time) as a "saw mill, etc." and having 178 employees in a town with a population of 2,260. Right before the Great Depression started, the company began manufacturing built-in kitchen cabinets. This product was very successful, and continued for many years after the demise of the Hoosier cabinets. The Coppes Napanee company remains in business to this day and is the longest-continuously-operating cabinet manufacturer in the United States.
Hoosier Manufacturing Company
The Hoosier Manufacturing Co. began in Albany, Indiana in the year 1898.[Note 3] The founders were glassmaker James McQuinn, his son Emmett McQuinn, and two business partners from Muncie, Indiana—John M. Maring, and Thomas Hart. Maring and Hart served as the president and vice president, respectively. The two McQuinns ran the business, with the elder McQuinn as the plant's general manager. The younger McQuinn was the advertising manager. Originally, the company used a former furniture manufacturing plant to make a seed separator used on farms. A secondary product, a stand-alone kitchen cabinet, sold better than the seed separator—and quickly became the company's main product. Each of the early Hoosier Cabinets was hand–made. The cabinet was similar to a baker's cabinet, with storage bins below a work space and a two-door upper section. However, the Hoosier Cabinet had "meticulously organized interior storage", which enabled it to serve as a kitchen workstation with all the necessary equipment and material within arm's reach.
The company's Albany facility was destroyed by a fire in 1900. At that time, the owners decided to restart in New Castle, Indiana, which is located about 25 miles (40 km) south of Albany. A profile of the McQuinns from a 1902 publication discussed the New Castle facility, and said that the "output of the factory now amounts to nearly 200 complete kitchen cabinets per week, and sales are made of the article in every state in the Union, and many foreign countries."
In addition to its product, Hoosier Manufacturing's success can be attributed to its strengths in advertising, distribution, and manufacturing. Hoosier Manufacturing created its own dealer network, since some furniture dealers were not fond of a product that competed with their wares. In cases where they had no dealer, products were sold directly from the factory. The company was also a strong believer in advertising.[Note 4] Advertising was conducted in newspapers and national magazines such as Ladies' Home Journal and The Saturday Evening Post, where the reader was likely to be a woman. In 1903, the company began streamlining its manufacturing process by using interchangeable hardware, standardizing its products, and using an assembly line. The employee responsible for these innovations, Harry Hall, was also granted patents related to innovations for the cabinet and for a safety apparatus.[Note 5]
By 1913, Hoosier Manufacturing, listed as a furniture maker by Indiana factory inspectors, had 470 employees. In 1916, the company sold its one millionth Hoosier Cabinet and was clearly the leader in free-standing kitchen cabinets. By 1920, two million had been sold. During its peak years, the company produced nearly 700 cabinets per day, and was the largest manufacturer of kitchen cabinets in the United States.
Free–standing kitchen cabinets began declining in popularity by 1930, and Hoosier Manufacturing responded by making kitchen cabinets that were meant to be built-in to the home. The company also began manufacturing kitchen tables and breakfast sets. During World War II, supplies and man-power became scarce. The company was sold and liquidated in 1942.
McDougall was one of the early manufacturers of a Hoosier cabinet. An advertisement from 1919 identified the McDougall as "the first kitchen cabinet". George McDougall began the McDougall Company in Indianapolis, Indiana, sometime after the Civil War. The company's products were pie safes and kitchen tables. In 1898, the company name was changed to G. P. McDougall and Son. George's son Charles traveled to learn more about the furniture business, and persuaded his father to equip their kitchen tables with flour bins—a product that eventually became known as baker's cabinets. Charles also traveled to Europe and the European influence can be seen on McDougall cabinets. In 1909, a disgruntled employee set the factory on fire, destroying the entire facility.
Charles McDougall, with several business partners, restarted the business in Frankfort, Indiana, in 1910. The company was named McDougall Company, and Hoosier cabinets were its product. The plant utilized the latest technology for furniture manufacturing. The McDougall Hoosier cabinet had a patented auto-front roll door that dropped down instead of rolling up. Its flour bin had a glass front to show the flour level in the bin. In 1913, the McDougall plant had 148 employees, making it the largest (based on employees) factory in Frankfort.
Near the end of the 1920s, the McDougall front door was changed to be similar to those used by other Hoosier cabinets. Its flour bins were made smaller. The Great Depression was difficult. The company was reorganized in 1931. The company lasted a few years before closing.
The G. I. Sellers Company was founded in Kokomo, Indiana, in 1888. The company made chifforobes, cabinets, and tables—and oak was their choice material. They grew to become the second largest manufacturer of Hoosier cabinets. By 1905, their manufacturing complex covered five city blocks. During that year, their plant was destroyed by fire. In order to restart their business as soon as possible, the company purchased a furniture factory in Elwood, Indiana. At that time, the company name was changed to the G. I. Sellers and Sons Company, and manufacturing was focused on Hoosier cabinets and tables.
By 1913, the Sellers plant employed 99 people, making it the second largest factory (based on employees) in Elwood. Among features Sellers promoted were an automatic lowering flour bin, glass drawer pulls, hand-rubbed finish on oak, and ant-proof casters. The company initiated a "Votes for Women" contest for little girls in 1914. Prizes were Junior Special Kitcheneed Cabinets, which were two–thirds the size of the Sellers Kitcheneed Special.
In 1922, Wilfred Sellers (company president) noted that the company typically produced 75,000 to 85,000 cabinets per year. Sellers introduced its Kitchenaire models in 1927, which had smaller flour bins but more drawers. In the early 1930s, coloring was featured, and new products were sold such as built-in kitchen cabinets and breakfast sets. During World War II, the company had difficulty acquiring raw materials and employing skilled workers. It ceased operations in 1950.
Between 1899 and 1949, over 40 manufacturers of stand-alone kitchen cabinets are known to have existed, and 18 of them were located in Indiana. Many of these manufacturers had much smaller advertising budgets compared to the major manufacturers, and it can be difficult to find information about them. Factory inspectors for the state of Indiana list at least eight companies, in addition to the major manufacturers, as kitchen cabinet makers in Indiana in 1913. Those companies are Cardinal Cabinet Company (Wabash), Greencastle Cabinet Company (Greencastle), Paul Manufacturing Company (Fort Wayne), Roach-Brown Manufacturing (Indianapolis), C. F. Schmoe Furniture Company (Shelbyville), Showers Brothers (Bloomington), Spiegle Cabinet Company (Shelbyville), and Wasmuch, Endicott Company (Andrews).[Note 6] Hoosier cabinets could also be mail-ordered from Montgomery Ward and Sears, Roebuck and Company.
- Ariel Cabinet Company of Peru, Indiana, which made the Ariel Handy Helper kitchen cabinet, was incorporated in 1920. The incorporators were from Goshen, Indiana, and already owned the Ariel Table Company of Auburn, Indiana. The Peru plant was used exclusively for kitchen cabinets, while the Auburn plant was used exclusively for kitchen tables.
- Baines-Mosier Cabinet Company of Allegan, Michigan, was established in 1906, and had 24 employees in 1915.
- Buchanan Cabinet Company of Buchanan, Michigan, manufactured kitchen cabinets and desks. It was founded in 1892, and had 31 employees in 1915.
- Cardinal Cabinet Company advertised its product as "Mother Hubbard's New Cupboards" The company began around 1910, and its officers were from Marion, Indiana. Company president in 1914 was G. A. Osborn. The Wabash, Indiana, company had 34 employees in 1913.
- Dearborn Desk Manufacturing Company of Marion, Indiana, made Marion Kitchen Cabinets. The flour bin was all-metal and removable, and it also had a sugar bin and metal bread and cake box. Indiana factory inspectors listed the company as a manufacturer of office desks with 20 employees in 1913.
- Faultless Iron Works of St. Charles, Illinois, made the White House All Metal Kitchen Cabinet. The product was made of white enameled metal, and promoted for its beauty as well as its usefulness.
- Greencastle Cabinet Company of Greencastle, Indiana, employed 82 adults in 1913. The company introduced an adjustable height cabinet in 1914. The concept was said to have originated from a suggestion by a member of the local women's club.
- Hartman Furniture and Carpet Company of Chicago sold Hartman's Famous Indiana-made kitchen cabinet that was made in a factory in central Indiana.
- Hastings Cabinet Company of Hastings, Michigan, advertised “A Shorter Days Work” for its Hastings Cabinet. The 1911 version was made of oak and had metal bins. Its fixtures were made from glass and aluminum. The company was founded in 1906, and had 33 employees in 1915.
- Kalamazoo Stove Company made the Kalamazoo Kitchen Kabinet in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The product was all-metal and white-enameled. The company was listed as a stove manufacturer in 1915 by inspectors from the Michigan Department of Labor. It had 205 employees, and was founded in 1901.
- Landau Cabinet Company of St. Louis, Missouri, was organized in 1906. Its plant occupied an entire city block. The Landau cabinet had a patented drop flour bin and called its work top "Landau's porcelain metal top".
- Marsh Furniture Company of High Point, North Carolina made Hoosier cabinets among other types of furniture, and still exists today (2018)
- Minneapolis Furniture Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota, manufactured Elwell Kitchen Cabinets and also made medicine and bath cabinets
- National Fly Screen and Manufacturing Co. of Cincinnati made the National Sanitary Kitchen Cabinet and conducted made-to-order screen work.
- Ohio State Stove and Manufacturing Company made Royal Ossco all-steel kitchen cabinets in Columbus, Ohio.
- C. F. Schmoe Furniture Company advertised its Hoosier cabinets as "Diamond Kitchen Cabinets". The company had 82 employees in 1913. The Shelbyville plant, which became the fifth largest kitchen cabinet factory, was sold in 1919 to L.A. Young Industries who planned to use it for manufacturing farm implements.
- Showers Brothers, established in 1868, had three factories in Bloomington, Indiana, and one in Iowa. They built many types of furniture, including Hoosier cabinets. In 1913, they had 499 employees.
- Spiegel Cabinet Company began in 1925 as an expansion company of the Spiegel Furniture Company, and manufactured kitchen cabinets. It closed in 1950.[Note 7]
- Vincennes Furniture Manufacturing Company used Ideal as the trade name for its products. This company was established in Vincennes, Indiana, in 1902. It built tables, kitchen cabinets, cupboards, dressers, and bookcases. It had 75 employees in 1913.
- Wasmuch-Endicott Company touted "the smooth surface round corner" kitchen cabinet in their Kitchen Maid brand Hoosier cabinets. Their motto was "Let the Kitchen Maid be Your Kitchen Aid". Features included round corners, crystal glass, automatic sugar bin, bread box, and sifter flour bin.
- Wilson kitchen cabinets were sold by Sears.
Hoosier cabinets can be found on display in museums such as the Henry Ford Museum, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, and the Kentucky Museum. However, Hoosier cabinets are found in other places too. Numerous antique dealers and restoration companies are involved with Hoosiers because nostalgic homeowners want this piece of furniture in their home. People are also interested in reproductions of the Hoosier cabinet.
One author credits the work of Philip and Phyllis Kennedy for boosting the popularity of Hoosier cabinets. The Kennedys researched the cabinet's history and procedures for restoration during the 1980s. In a 1999 book, another author discussing the Hoosier cabinet mentioned that some cooks are "scouring antique stores, farm auctions, and flea markets for this unique, and still useful, piece of Americana."
Restored Hoosier cabinets are often sought after for use in early-twentieth-century-style kitchens, in homes from that era or in new homes built in the styles of that era." In 2004, Hoosier cabinets sold at auction were often priced at over $1,000 (equivalent to $1,370 in 2020). Oak versions with all of the accessories (flour bin, sugar bin, glass spice jars, etc.) have sold for over $2,000 (equivalent to $2,740 in 2020). Cabinets without the original accessories are typically lower priced. Some of the accessories, such as the flour sifters and the spice jars made by Sneath Glass also sell quickly. As always, beware of counterfeits and Hoosier Manufacturing nameplates added to old cabinets.
"Hoosier cabinets live on as more than inspiration for new varieties of kitchen furniture. A hundred years after their rise to prominence, restored originals and recent reproductions have become cherished objects in many a home." "The cabinets' sheer eccentricity, combined with their attractiveness as historic artifacts, has earned them a following equal to that of any group of collectors."
- ^A major manufacturer of glassware for Hoosier cabinets, and replacement sets, was Sneath Glass Company of Hartford City, Indiana. A Sneath sales brochure lists 11-piece and 10-piece Hoosier sets, and two types of crystal glass sugar bins.
- ^Hoosier Manufacturing advertised colored glassware and dishes for its Hoosier Beauty in the Saturday Evening Post in 1927. Sellers had ant-proof casters. Ironing boards were added by at least one manufacturer toward the end of the Hoosier cabinet's popularity.
- ^Hiller says the company began in 1898, while Kennedy says the company was incorporated in 1899.
- ^Pages 17 and 18 of the June 1921 edition of Printers' Ink Monthly discusses the current (at that time) advertising campaign conducted by the Hoosier Manufacturing Company.
- ^Harry A. Hall received a patent for a sifter for flour bins in 1913. He received another patent in 1923 for a sliding moldboard. He also made safety improvements to the manufacturing process, and was granted a saw guard patent in 1928.
- ^The companies in this list were described by the Indiana Department of Inspection as makers of kitchen cabinets. Additional kitchen cabinet making companies may be in the inspector's list, but described otherwise (such as furniture makers) instead of as kitchen cabinet manufacturers. It is possible that some of the kitchen cabinet makers in the list did not make their product in the Hoosier style.
- ^Possibly conflicting with the source that said Spiegel Cabinet company began in 1925, the Indiana Factory Inspection report for 1913 lists Spiegel Furniture Company with 79 employees, and a Spiegel Cabinet Company with 74 employees.
- ^ abHiller 2009, p. 87.
- ^ abcdHiller 2009, p. 6.
- ^Gdula 2008, p. 18.
- ^Indiana State Bureau of Inspection 1907, p. 140.
- ^ abHiller 2009, p. 81.
- ^ abcdKennedy 1989, p. 8.
- ^Hiller 2009, p. 99.
- ^ abKennedy 1989, p. 21.
- ^ abKennedy 1989, p. 64.
- ^ abcHiller 2009, p. 4.
- ^Kennedy 1989, p. 7.
- ^Gdula 2008, p. 16.
- ^Sneath & Crimmel 1920, p. 1.
- ^Kennedy 1989, p. 52.
- ^Kennedy 1989, pp. 61–62.
- ^Hiller 2009, p. 89.
- ^Madison, Sandweiss & Hedeen 2014, p. 130.
- ^Kennedy 1989, p. 123.
- ^ abIndiana State Bureau of Inspection 1914, p. 180.
- ^Kennedy 1989, p. 124.
- ^Kennedy 1989, p. 125.
- ^Kennedy 1989, p. 93.
- ^Coppes Bros. & Zook (1922-04-01). "You Do Not Know What Kitchen Work Costs You". Good Housekeeping. New York: International Magazine Company. advertisement on page 195.
- ^Indiana State Bureau of Inspection 1914, p. 212.
- ^Kennedy 1989, pp. 94–95.
- ^ abHiller 2009, pp. 53–54.
- ^ abKennedy 1989, p. 17.
- ^Huston 1921, p. 225.
- ^Bowen 1902, pp. 410–411.
- ^Hiller 2009, pp. 56–57.
- ^Bowen 1902, p. 410.
- ^Hiller 2009, p. 59.
- ^ abKennedy 1989, p. 20.
- ^Tandy, Edward T. (1921-06-01). "How the Hoosier Company Backs Its "Saves Steps" Slogan". Printer's Ink Monthly. New York: Romer Publishing Company.
- ^Hoosier Manufacturing, advertisement on page 181 (1922-10-01). "Win Freedom from Drudgery with the Hoosier". Ladies Home Journal. Philadelphia: The Curtis Publishing Company.
- ^Hoosier Manufacturing, advertisement on page 84 (1922-01-01). "The New Hoosier Beauty". Saturday Evening Post. Philadelphia: The Curtis Publishing Company.
- ^Kennedy 1989, p. 18.
- ^US patent 1,075,474, "Sifter for Flour Bins", issued 1913-10-14.
- ^US patent 1,461,525, "Sliding Moldboard for Cabinets", issued 1923-07-23.
- ^US patent 1,690,817, "Saw Guard", issued 1928-11-06.
- ^Indiana State Bureau of Inspection 1914, p. 216.
- ^"Hoosier Kitchen Cabinets – An unforgettable impact". City of New Castle, Indiana. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
- ^McDougall Company (1919-07-01). "And So He Bought Her a McDougall". Good Housekeeping. New York: International Magazine Company. advertisement on page 117.
- ^Kennedy 1989, p. 106.
- ^Kennedy 1989, p. 107.
- ^Indiana State Bureau of Inspection 1914, p. 103.
- ^Kennedy 1989, p. 108.
- ^Kennedy 1989, p. 61.
- ^Indiana State Bureau of Inspection 1914, p. 81.
- ^Kennedy 1989, p. 82.
- ^"A New Kitchen Cabinet Sales Plan". Grand Rapids Furniture Record. Grand Rapids, Michigan: The Periodical Publishing Company. 1914-09-01. p. 206.
- ^Crawford, R. P. (1922-04-29). "How Young Man Built National Business in Small Town". Forbes. New York: B. C. Forbes Publishing Co., Inc. p. 67.
- ^Star 1981, p. 29.
- ^Indiana State Bureau of Inspection 1914, pp. 280, 113, 99, 153, 251, 41, 252, 30.
- ^ abPlante, Ellen M. (1992-09-01). "Hoosier Kitchen Cabinets". Old House Journal. Denver: Active Interest Media, Inc. p. 42.
- ^"Incorporations". American Lumberman. Chicago: American Lumberman. 1920-03-13. p. 90.
- ^"Indiana". The Furniture Worker. Cincinnati: George W. Huston. 1920-05-01. p. 198.
- ^Michigan Department of Labor 1916, p. 90.
- ^Goodsell, Myers & Berrien County Historical Association 2005, p. 174.
- ^Michigan Department of Labor 1916, p. 111.
- ^"The Newest of Mother Hubbard's New Cupboards". Sacramento Union. 1915-10-13. p. 7.
- ^"Increased Its Capital and Factories". Grand Rapids Furniture Record. Grand Rapids, Michigan: The Periodical Publishing Company. 1914-09-01. p. 210.
- ^ abIndiana State Bureau of Inspection 1914, p. 280.
- ^"New Goods Report". The Hardware Reporter. St. Louis: Stoves and Hardware Publishing Co. 1913-04-25. p. 87.
- ^Indiana State Bureau of Inspection 1914, p. 193.
- ^"With the Stove and Furnace Trade". Metal Worker, Plumber, and Steam Fitter. New York: David Williams Company. 1913-01-17. p. 148.
- ^"Manufacturers' and Jobbers' Report". The Hardware Reporter. St. Louis: Stoves and Hardware Publishing Co. 1913-03-07. p. 101.
- ^Indiana State Bureau of Inspection 1914, p. 113.
- ^"The Woman - The Cabinet". Grand Rapids Furniture Record. Grand Rapids, Michigan: The Periodical Publishing Company. 1914-12-01. p. 402.
- ^Hartman Company (1917-09-01). "No Money In Advance". Farm Journal. Philadelphia: Wilmer Atkinson Company. advertisement on page 479.
- ^Ohio State Stove and Manufacturing Co. (1911-05-01). "A Shorter Day's Work". The Garden Magazine. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Page and Company. advertisement on page 224.
- ^Michigan Department of Labor 1916, p. 98
- ^Kalamazoo Stove Co. (1914-10-01). "You Have a "Friend" in the Wholesale Stove Business". Farm Journal. Philadelphia: Wilmer Atkinson Company. advertisement on page 584 (64).
- ^Michigan Department of Labor 1916, p. 191.
- ^"Increased Capacity". Grand Rapids Furniture Record. Grand Rapids, Michigan: The Periodical Publishing Company. 1914-12-01. p. 397.
- ^"Marsh Furniture: Family Owned and Future Focused for Over a Century". Marsh Furniture. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
- ^"Minneapolis Furniture Co". Sweet's Indexed Catalogue of Building Construction. Vol. 1. New York: Architectural Record Company. 1907-01-01. p. 944.
- ^Cuvier Press Club (Cincinnati, Ohio) 1914, p. 107.
- ^Ohio State Stove and Manufacturing Co. (1920-06-01). "A Sanitary Kitchen". Good Housekeeping. New York: International Magazine Company. advertisement on page 177.
- ^C. F. Schmoe Furniture Co. (1917-12-01). "Diamond Kitchen Cabinets". Furniture Worker. Cincinnati: [N.p.] advertisement on page 46.
- ^Indiana State Bureau of Inspection 1914, p. 251.
- ^"Industrial News of the Week – Young Buys Indiana Plant". Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record. Detroit: Pick Publications. 1919-02-01.
- ^Osborne, E. Walter (1921-03-19). "Taste Appeal Plus Price Appeal". Advertising and Selling. New York: Advertising and Selling Company, Inc. p. 3—4.
- ^Indiana State Bureau of Inspection 1914, p. 41.
- ^Shelby County Historical Society 1992, p. 87.
- ^Indiana State Bureau of Inspection 1914, p. 252.
- ^Fawcett, Waldon (1920-05-01). "Furniture Industry Trademarks". Furniture Manufacturer. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Periodical Publishing Company. p. 240.
- ^Greene 1911, p. 516.
- ^Wasmuch-Endicott Company (1920-04-01). "No Corners Where Dirt Can Hide". Good Housekeeping. New York: International Magazine Company. advertisement on page 212.
- ^"New "Kitchen Maid" Catalog". Furniture Worker. Cincinnati: [N.p.] 1917-10-01. p. 427.
- ^"Kitchen Cabinet, 1915-1930". The Henry Ford Museum. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
- ^"Seller & Sons Hoosier cabinet". Kentucky Museum, Western Kentucky University. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
- ^"Remember Hoosier cabinets? Paint brush and imagination give old furniture new life". The Virginian-Pilot (online). Retrieved 2018-04-01.
- ^Johnson, Tim (1999-12-01). "Build a Modern Hoosier Cabinet". American Woodworker. New York: Home Service Publications. p. 54.
- ^Hiller 2009, p. 110.
- ^Fertig 1999, p. 322.
- ^ abHiller 2009, p. 107.
- ^ abSwaim, Connie (Spring 2004). "The Homemaker's Friend: The Hoosier Kitchen Cabinet". Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History. Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana Historical Society. p. 26.
- ^Hiller 2009, p. 100.
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- Sneath Glass Company; Crimmel, Henry Hays (1920). To the Housewife (sales brochure). Hartford City, Indiana: Sneath Glass Company.
- Star, Jacquelyn (1981). Free-standing Kitchen Cabinets in the United States, 1899-1930: "Hoosier" Kitchen Cabinets, Development in a Cultural Context. Madison, Wisconsin: Dissertation M.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison 1981. OCLC 7778288.