The Hoosier Manufacturing Co. is thought to have been founded in 1898. Houses of the period were not equipped with built-in kitchen cabinetry. Hoosier created the Hoosier cabinet by remodeling the existing baker’s cabinet, and it became a centerpiece to many kitchens. By rearranging the parts and taking advantage of modern metal working, Hoosier, and others were able to produce a well-organized, compact cabinet which answered the home cook’s needs for storage and working space. These cabinets came west with many settlers. With a Hoosier, a woman could set-up house fairly quickly, by putting her kitchen in working order. Since the cabinets came with flour bins, sugar bins, spice jars, and room to pack pots and pans, the Hoosier cabinet was literally a compact, portable kitchen.
Hoosier cabinets remained popular into the 1920s, but by that time houses began to be built with more modern kitchens with built-in cabinets and other fixtures. No longer necessary, the Hoosier largely disappeared. Now they are frequently used for additional storage in kitchens, giving new life to these handy creations. Annie’s Gold currently has a Hoosier cabinet if you would like to get a closer look at a “kitchen” of the old west.