History of Hoosier Cabinets


A Hoosier Cabinet was one of the most charming fixtures a lady could have had in her kitchen. It is a free-standing kitchen workhorse that was invented in 1898 in Elwood, Indiana by a manufacturing company known as, Sellers. Between 1898 and 1950, there were dozens of Hoosier-style cabinet manufacturers in the United States alone. In fact, for about 151 years, Hoosier Cabinet has been tied to the state of Indiana with several theories surrounding its origin.

The population of Hoosier Cabinets began to decrease after World War II, when manufacturing records for the cabinets became very low in Indiana. The modernization of the kitchen appliances with built-in cabinets is more likely to be the reason for the sharp decline, there was not as much need for them. However, today the Hoosier Cabinet is an efficient, practical addition to any kitchen.

What makes Hoosier Cabinets special?

Most people think that Hoosier Cabinets are just mere cupboards, yet they are so much more than what they appear to be. The cabinet stores staples like sugar, flour, spices and utensils. They also have functioning parts, such as meat grinders, flour sifters, bread boxes and rotating spice carousels. They were made to handle every task in your kitchen, saving steps and making kitchen-life easier.

The materials used

The typical Hoosier Cabinet had a large base with several drawers and pull out work surfaces. The top section was more narrow, showcasing numerous drawers, cabinet compartments, and a tambour hood. The majority of Hoosier Cabinets were made with oak. However, due to oak’s scarcity in the late 1940’s, manufacturers used any type of solid wood they could find. Often two or more wood species were used to manufacture a single cabinet, and many of these cabinets were painted to hide the varying wood spices used.

Are Hoosier Cabinets relevant today?

These cabinets work well, especially in older homes that have smaller kitchens with little storage space. Hoosier Cabinets look great and fit well in vintage and farmhouse-style kitchens. If you have a Hoosier cabinet you’re looking to display, they should be showcased in/near the kitchen or dining areas.

If you are enthused about restoring your Hoosier Cabinet to closely resemble the original functions and appearance, please call us, we are at your service!

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