What is a Hoosier cabinet?

old kitchen

Hoosier cabinets were manufactured in the early 19th century and one of the major manufacturers was known as Hoosier manufacturing company.

That is the same period when Americana built most of the houses in the history. Since most of the homes didn’t have inbuilt kitchen cabinets, the Hoosier cabinet became more popular.

It was a kitchen cabinet with storage and a working space enough to enable a cook to complete all the food preparation without moving until it was time to cook the meals.

The Hoosier manufacturing company believed in advertising and with time the Hoosier cabinets became so popular and other manufacturers and sellers joined this booming business especially from 1900 to 1930.

During that time, Hoosier manufacturing company had sold 2 million cabinets. However, their popularity declined when people started building their houses with in-build cabinets.

Selling them became quite hard and the main two manufacturers, that is Hoosier manufacturing and G.I Sellers and sons gave up the hard fight and closed their businesses of manufacturing Hoosier cabinets in 1942 and 1950 respectively.

What is a Hoosier cabinet

A Hoosier kitchen cabinet is a self-stand kitchen cabinet basically considered as an improved version of baker’s cabinet.

The only difference between the Hoosier cabinet and the baker’s cabinet is that the Hoosier cabinet has a pull-out workspace and storage for all the needs of a cook.

The Hoosier cabinets serve as a good workstation when you are preparing meals because all the materials you need are in one place.

The base section is comprised of one large compartment with the slide-out shelf that is covered in metal. This metal provides more workspace.

There are also several drawers on one side for storage. Then there is the top portion that comes in shallower with several smaller compartments with doors.

Most of Hoosier cabinets are about 48 inches wide by 22 inches deep by 72 inches high. They also offer additional counter space of about 40 inches, something that was not available in a standard kitchen in the early 20th century.

One distinctive feature of the Hoosier cabinets is that they have many moving parts and accessories. Initially, they were supplied readily equipped with various racks and other hardware for holding and organizing the spices and the various staples.

In fact, the Hoosier cabinet had provisions of storing the kitchen staples such as flour and they could be used without any need of removing them from the cabinet.

There was also a similar provision for storing the sugar bin. As time went by, other accessories and innovations were added.

The original sets of Hoosier glassware were also manufactured and they consisted of coffee and tea canisters, a salt box and four to eight spice jars. Other manufacturers included a cracker jar as well.

There were special glass jars that were manufactured to fit this particular cabinet and its racks. Innovations that were added later included the glassware, ant-proof casters, ironing boards and even the cards with reminders for grocery shopping and tips for meal planning among other features.

Although these iconic pieces of furniture were very popular in the past, they are also in quite good demand currently. Wondering what you would need them for? By the time you…
Continue reading the article and learn more about Hoosier cabinets on James Watt’s blog.

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