The History of Hoosier Cabinets

Posted on January 1, 2020 at 9:00 AM by Maggie Wynja

The Early Modern Kitchen Cabinet

A vintage Hoosier Cabinet ad

Hoosiers were an early form of modern kitchen cabinets with storage and work areas designed for functionality. According to Wikipedia, the cabinets were first manufactured by the Hoosier Manufacturing Company of New Castle, Indiana. They were also made by several other companies, most of which were also located in Indiana in the early 20th century. Hoosier cabinets gained popularity with housewives who previously used only rudimentary equipment and kitchen tables for preparing meals. 

Vintage Hartman's Kitchen Cabinet Ad

Original Hoosiers featured individual compartments and drawers and an area for making bread and pastry. Many had slide-out shelves, a roll-top section, and casters. There was storage for canned goods and equipment. There were glass containers for flour and sugar with built-in sifters to make measuring and sifting easier. Salt and spices were displayed in jars to add to the convenience. Having everything organized and close at hand saved many hours and steps per day for the homemaker of the day. Most cabinets were initially wood with a pull-out or under cabinet counter along with a pullout counter of enamel or wood to accommodate baking needs.

A Homemaker's Hoosier with features to accommodate baking needs

Many later versions incorporated enamel tops, sides, and elements in the current color trends of the day. Red, green and white being popular choices. Although modern kitchen cabinets eventually replaced the Hoosier cabinets, Hoosiers are still popular pieces of furniture for kitchen or dining room adding storage and versatility and nostalgic charm to cottage kitchens or period homes.

An enamel Hoosier from more modern times

Do you, or someone you know, still have and use a Hoosier? If so, we'd love to hear about it! Tell us about it in the comments below!

I have a Hoosier. I bought at an Antique store and I absolutely love it.
Dorthea Helen Ellis | 8/15/22 at 5:31 PM
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