Almost every week, I receive an email or two from folks with questions about Hoosier Cabinets. Usually they have one that they'd like to restore, or have inherited one and want information about their newly acquired cupboard.
How do they find me? A "Hoosier Cabinet" search on Google shows the many posts I have written about them over the years. So I get inquiries about their value, the best way to refinish them, and how to determine the maker and age. I do my best to provide a bit of insight, but quite frankly, I'm not a Hoosier Cabinet expert. I am simply a fan.
I've been in their shoes. For many years, I tried to find out more about my lovely cupboard that now resides in my new studio. My cabinet doesn't have any maker's tags or markings. My research revealed that although it wasn't made by the Hoosier Company, it is an I-X-L cabinet made in Goshen Indiana by the company of that same name. They sold them on their own and through the Montgomery Ward catalog.
Recently, I found an old advertisement that confirms my research.
It states, "Built of the best kiln-dried lumber; accurately constructed by the most expert workmen so that there is absolutely no danger of warping, swelling and getting out of shape." I can attest to that as, decades later, my IXL is sturdy as can be.
This line of Hoosier-style cabinets was equipped with many compartments and special accoutrements: nickel trimmings, a drop roll curtain, a complete set of glassware consisting of five spice jars, one tea jar, one coffee jar and one large jar for sugar, a flour sifter, flour bin, bread board, metal bread drawer, cake drawer, divided cutlery drawer, meat chopper block, porcelain steel full sliding top, ant proof casters, and more … all for around $100!
My IXL is missing many of those extra features, but it is still one fabulous cabinet.