Chimney Hoosier Cabinet Finds New Home

May 20, 2022

Several months ago, I was intrigued by an unusual piece of vintage kitchen furniture at an online auction. I commented to several vendors at our store (I-81 Antiques in Shippensburg, Pa.), asking if they had ever seen a Chimney Hoosier? I wasn’t familiar with it, but after reading up on the subject a bit, I thought the natural thing to do would be to purchase one.
We post items on Facebook every week to highlight new arrivals, and once this piece arrived and photos were posted, it caught the eye of quite a few customers.
One local customer in particular, Barb Barner, did a double take. The piece was the perfect match to her full-size Hoosier cabinet she had purchased several years ago at an antiques shop in Bedford, Pa. Everything down to the hardware was a match, and now the pieces are together.
This was just one of the happy endings we experience in the shop, which I wanted to share, along with some background into the company that made it.
What is a Hoosier cabinet?
A Hoosier cabinet is a type of kitchen cabinet that stands freely and can also serve as a working kitchen. This cabinet’s popularity began in the early 20th century, mainly because many houses did not have built-in kitchen cabinetry.
This cabinet became quite essential and efficient for use. The first and largest company to manufacture this product was the Hoosier Manufacturing Co., in New Castle, Ind. This is where the Hoosier cabinet got its name, which became a generic term for this type or form of furniture. By the year 1920, the company had sold 2 million cabinets in the U.S. The cabinets were also manufactured by other companies, mostly in the Midwest.
The Hoosier Kitchen Cabinet Co. is believed to be among the first in the nation to offer a payment plan. For just $1 a week, a homemaker could have a new cabinet. Total retail cost was $49.50 in 1918, so in roughly one year, it would be paid off.
The Interstate 81 Antiques shop at 15 Hershey Road (Exit 29 off I-81) in Shippensburg, Pa., will be holding a special outdoor flea market on Saturday, May 28. Hours will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gates open at 8 a.m.
For more information, call 717-300-3746.


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