Our Towns

Youngstown Kitchen Steel Cabinets Come Home

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A collection of pristine Youngstown Kitchen cabinets will be exhibited at the Tyler History Center, starting Jan. 30.

Last fall, through the power of social media, the Mahoning Valley Historical Society received a donation to purchase a set of mostly unused, new old stock Youngstown Kitchen porcelain steel cabinets and countertops. The cabinets were ordered in 1948 for a kitchen installation that was never completed, and were sitting, still in their shipping boxes, in a home in California. After a blog post on the site RetroRenovation.com, the seller was bombarded with offers, and was thrilled when the Mahoning Valley Historical Society showed an interest.

The society was able to purchase the cabinets after receiving a generous gift from Michael and Jeanette Garvey, owners of M-7 Technologies in Youngstown. The Garveys made the donation in memory of the late George Whitlock, who was president of Mullins Manufacturing Company of Warren, which made the Youngstown Kitchen brand of steel cabinets.  The Garvey family lived next door to Whitlock in Warren when Michael Garvey was growing up.

Ben Casado, the seller in Galt, Calif., built custom crates for all of the components in the kitchen cabinet set.  The crates arrived in Warren in late December, through coordination of shipping by the management and staff of B. J. Alan Co., and MVHS board member Scott Zoldan. The Garveys, B. J. Alan staff, MVHS executive director Bill Lawson, and Jessica Trickett, MVHS collections manager, will remove the cabinets from the crates this week, at the Tyler History Center in downtown Youngstown.

The cabinets will be installed temporarily in a preview exhibit in the first floor Drs. Thomas and Maria Fok Exhibit Gallery at the Tyler History Center.

The Tyler History Center is open to the public Tuesday-Sunday from noon to 4:00 p.m.  Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors (over 60) and college students, and $2 for children.  Admission also covers a same-day visit to the Arms Family Museum on Wick Avenue, which will reopen Jan. 30.

Pictured: A typical Youngstown sink base posted at RetroRenovation.com. Text at the site notes, ” Immediately after WWII, a lot of homemakers would just buy this unit, a sink base with integral drainboard sink. The idea was that you could add the additional pieces later.” 

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.