The late 1950’s and early 1960’s was a successful time for mobile homes. The industry enjoyed record sales year after year. Buyers were put on waiting lists for the most popular models.

There are several reasons why the manufacturers enjoyed high sales and record profits during this time.

One of the main reasons was the countries healthy economy. The nation was experiencing a dramatic growth – the big wars were over, the factories were hiring and the middle class was thriving. Two generations were leading the sales; retirees and young couples that had just enough credit to buy a new mobile home. Each group wanted the latest trends and modern conveniences but at an affordable price and mobile homes gave them exactly what they wanted.

The builders also played a large role in their own success. They focused on offering the consumers the latest trends and endless options. There were so many mobile home builders in the nation that the competitive market required the companies to continuously offer bigger and better homes just to stay in business.  They had to offer new and improved, year after year and before their competitors did. ‘Cutthroat’ was one industry insider’s word to describe it. Fortunately, most of them met the demand with unique designs and original floor plans. Every year a completely new design or style was added to the lineup. If one builder released a new floor plan, three other builders would offer the same within the year. It was a cutthroat industry, but it was all-American, and the designs that came from that era are still popular more than half a century later.

Related: Vintage Mobile Homes

The Standard Straight Line Mobile Home Kitchen

The inline or straight line kitchen was the most typical design found in mobile homes since the first modern home was wheeled out of the factory. It was situated close to the middle of the home and often separated the living room from the sleeping quarters. It had the entire kitchen on one side of the home so that the other side could be used for dining. The front door was often positioned close.

Below are several straight line kitchens from 1955 to 1959. A small dining area usually set on one side and a continuous kitchen on the other side. A small built-in cabinet usually separated the kitchen from the living room.

Silver Star Kitchen 1955
Silver Star Mobile Home Kitchen, 1955
1955 Straight Line Kitchen - American mobile Home
Straight Line Kitchen – American Mobile Home Corporation, 1955
American Coach Kitchen - American President Model
American Coach Kitchen – American President Model
Straight Line Kitchen in an Anderson Mobile Home, 1959
Straight Line Kitchen in an Anderson Mobile Home, 1959
VIP by General Mobile Home Kitchen, 1959
VIP by General Mobile Home Kitchen, 1959

The Slanted Kitchen Design

When the 1960 models were first shown to the public in 1959 it was making headlines. A new kitchen design aptly nicknamed the slanted kitchen was one of many new trends for the year. The homes had started getting wider after 1954, when Marshfield Homes released the Ten Wide and fought to have it legalized for highway transport. More design freedoms were enjoyed with the wider homes.

The slanted kitchen was just that. It was a straight line kitchen situated on a slant. The slant allowed just enough room for a utility or laundry room to set behind the kitchen. There was also ample room for the furnace and water heater, too.

Geer-Slanted-Kitchen-1960
1960-Frontier-Horizon-slanted-kitchen

American Coach Slanted Kitchen of 1960Utility room behind American Coach Slanted Kitchen, 1960

The Cozy Front Kitchen

The front kitchen design became a standard option for mobile homes around 1959. The kitchen was positioned at the end, instead of the living room. Below are two options available from the American Pioneer Mobile Home Company in 1959. I’ve been unable to confirm which company first offered the design.

American Pioneer Mobile Home Front Kitchen, 1959
American Pioneer Mobile Home Front Kitchen, 1959

Below is a 1960 ad from Homette. They were strong believers in making a home that lasts and using the front kitchen design. They continued to offer the option in most of their models 20 years later.

Pan American 1960 Cozy Front Kitchen
Pan American 1960 Cozy Front Kitchen

Other Mobile Home Kitchen Designs From the 1960’s

Of course, the 3 kitchen designs mentioned above weren’t the only options available during the time.

The Breakfast Bar

Along with the front kitchens came the breakfast bar. Bars with stools and even complete islands were a big home craze in the late 50’s, and the mobile home builders used it to their advantage. The breakfast bar that separated the kitchen from the living room was a very popular interior design in mobile homes for decades and the design is still used today. Some added cabinets above the bar, some didn’t.

New Moon Mobile Home Kitchen Design, 1960
New Moon Mobile Home Kitchen Design, 1960
Homette Mobile Home 1960 ad
Homette Mobile Home 1960 ad
1960 Flamingo Provincial Kitchen
1960 Flamingo Provincial kitchen
Great Lakes Mobile Home interior 1960
Great Lakes Mobile Home Interior 1960

The double wide concept was becoming mainstream in 1960. With double the space, the possible kitchen designs were endless. Here’s one that uses one entire side of the kitchen with the dining room on the other side. A bar connects the two spaces though.

Expando Home, 1960
Expando Home, 1960

Contemporary derivatives for the front kitchen design were popular for the more modern, mid-century minded customers.

This 1959 Geer Mobile Home had an electric powered fireplace. The bookcase and sleek chimney design separating the kitchen and living area was different.

Geer Mobile Home Kitchen, 1959
Geer Mobile Home Kitchen, 1959

The Carousel and Crescent Shaped Kitchens

Spartan Mobile Homes made history with their unique carousel kitchen design of the late 1950s and 1960, but they weren’t alone.

Similar designs, such as Homette’s Crescent kitchen design appeared in 1960 too.

The curved kitchen bar design (along with the famed aluminum siding) was the hallmark of Spartan design and is still admired more than half a century later.

Carousel Spartan Kitchen, 1960
Carousel Spartan Kitchen, 1960

If you hear the words ‘carousel kitchen’ most will automatically associate it with Spartans but Homette had its own curved counter, they called it crescent though.

In all, the competitive era from 1955 to 1960 saw many new designs and styles in mobile home kitchens. Every inch of space used and builders weren’t scared to get creative back in the good old days.

Fortunately for us, many of those forward-thinking designs are still used today.

Do you live in a home with one of these designs or have fond memories? Share them below, we’d love to hear from you!

As always, thank you for reading Mobile Home Living!

11 thoughts on “Mobile Home Kitchens From 1955 to 1960”

  1. I had long been fascinated by an old mobile home in a park where my family lived during the summers in the late 70s. The trailer was old then and we thought it was a little creepy! The park was recently abandoned and the old homes are being dismantled and removed. Being the intrepid explorer of all things old, I couldn’t resist the chance to take a little tour. I have determined through research that this is a 1959 Marlette. It has the slanted kitchen design, with the bathroom behind the kitchen. The water heater is in a closet in the bathroom. I guess it is about 10 feet wide and about 50 feet long. There is a tiny bedroom or den in the front with a large living room and another tiny bedroom in the back. Many of the original fixtures seem to be intact, including light fixtures and the original pink tub and toilet. A gabled roof was added in the 80s or 90s, along with a covered entrance porch containing a laundry room. I took tons of pics, and even though the interior has been pretty well destroyed by vandals, it is easy to see the kitchen layout is nearly identical to those above. This one has the furnace in the place where the refrigerator is. There is a small built in china cabinet that would have been over the dining table, but I can’t figure out where the fridge was to be placed. I am curious if you have any literature on this particular model. All I have been able to locate is a 1959 Marlette travel trailer, but not the mobile home. Thank you for your help!

    1. Hi Angela,

      I bet you could sell those light fixtures to restorers! Most of my magazines stop around 1955 though I do have a few from 1966/67. There are some great vintage mobile home groups on Facebook. I bet you’d find something there. Best of luck!

  2. Hi, We have 2 mobile homes, one is a 1975 Wick home, it also has badges that say Marshfield. It’s a 14×70. and has a fairly modern layout with 3 beds and 2 baths. And we have a 60’s Parkwood, probably 12×50 or so with the raised front kitchen, and mood lights in the living room. and 2 beds one bath. I can’t find a whole lot on either of these homes, so I was wondering if you knew anything about them. Thanks.

    1. Hi Shawn,

      Wic and Marshfield are both VERY popular brands! I’ve seen a ton of them over the years. My Homette has a raised front kitchen and that’s one of my favorite things about the home. You should be able to find a couple of ads or brochures online. Ebay is about the best place I’ve found for mobile home literature. The builder and dealers haven’t released any vintage stuff that I know of. Heck, you can’t even find manuals for a model built 5 years ago.

      Sorry I can’t be any help! Best of luck!

  3. I’ve been trying to find the age of our mobile home. It has no placard. It has been heavily changed over the years and has a basement. It looks somewhat like the 1960 Flamingo with the front kitchen. It had a green built in oven and a separate stove top. I believe it is 12′ wide. The original siding is a light blue steel (possibly aluminum). Wall framing is horizontal 1x2s with vertical 2x2s. Original wiring is 12-2 copper without a ground. Plumbing was 3/8″ copper. Floor joists are 2x4s and 4x4s over cross sections of 12″ I-Beam. Wall panels are cheesy woodgrain brown. Not sure about the roof. I think someone installed 2×12 solid trusses but nailed the old curved roof 1×2 trusses with the ceiling to it. It has 1 bedroom with a sink in it originally. The bathroom has this wierd fan near the floor in the wall that looks 1960s or 70s like. The kitchen floor is about 4″ higher and the ceiling angles upward in that area.

    1. Hi Jack,

      Unfortunately, there are just too many different builders and models to know for sure what your home is, especially after it’s been modified. The front kitchens were very popular from the late 1950’s on and used by several builders. Sorry I can’t help!

  4. We live in an early 60s Angelus mobile home with a front kitchen and love it. It amazes me how well built these homes are.

    1. Hi Jason!

      I adore front kitchens! They are my favorite layout and I’m not even sure why – I just like the idea of having the living space on one side and the sleeping space on the other, I guess?

      Great to hear from you!

  5. I am looking or the Spartan Carousel for sale – remodeled as shown on your website. Can you direct me to the seller or comparable? thank you.

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