This post was most recently updated on September 23rd, 2019
All aboard the vintage advertising train!
We’re heading into Week 2 of my “31-Days” October series on old home decor ads, and I’m still obsessing over mid-century modern design trends.
Have you ever been in the bathroom of a home built in the 50s-70s, reached for the toilet paper, only to notice something like this?
While searching for our first home over a decade ago, we visited at least thirty non-renovated 1960s homes.
If you do the math, that means that we saw at least thirty bathrooms of this vintage. OMG, the bathrooms (shudder). They each had their own, ahem, individuality, but the one common theme was shiny chrome recessed accessories like these.
These “concealed” bathroom accessories were made by a company called HALL – MACK (the Hallenscheid & McDonald Company) and were very popular in the 1940s-1960’s. The company was famous for accessories that were hidden inside the wall, and accessed by lifting a cover, or pulling a knob or swinging open a door.
HALL-MACK has been out of business for years now, but many of their unique 1950s designs are still popular.
One of their most, um, interesting products, was called a “Relaxation Unit”. Apparently it was for people (surely, men lol) who desired “Real Bathroom Service” (ad below).
The unit, which was “completely recessed – flush with the wall”, was used to hold magazines, newspapers and toilet paper, and according to the ad copy, it had “had ample space” for holding your cigarettes, matches, and ash tray, and even a few knick knacks to boot.
They might as well have called it a”Husband’s Dream”. I’m assuming men took a lot more trips to the bathroom back then (especially when it was time to dry the dishes) as the only thing missing on this baby was a beer dispenser.
Joking aside, mid-century homes were small by today’s standards , especially the bathrooms, so I can see why unique space-saving ideas like these were so popular.
Even today, these retro bathroom accessories are still highly coveted by home renovators. Although rare, they can be found through auctions and on E-Bay.
Want to see more about these fixtures? A great reference is found here.
Hope to see you again tomorrow!