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My Only Blog With an “R” Rating!

Before you start reading this, please usher the children into another room and/or tell them to cover their ears and hum.

Sears only offered two models of kit homes that had a sink in the closet. One was their fanciest house (”The Magnolia”) and the other was one of their simplest designs (”The Cinderella”). Why put a sink in the corner of a dressing room or a closet? Running the necessary plumbing, drain lines and vent would have added some expense, so what’s the point?

There were a few obvious reasons: It gave the lady of the house a place to wash her “unmentionables” and it also gave the man a place to shave when the couple’s seven kids were hogging the bathroom.

But there might have been another lesser-known reason.

Are those kids gone? ;)

In the early 1900s, male prophylactics were “re-usable.” It wasn’t until the 1920s that latex was invented, and these particular items became single-use.

By the way, this particular insight as to the purpose of that master-bedroom sink is not my own, but was sent to me by a faithful reader of the blog. Best of all, it makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? I’d love to give proper credit to the reader who shared this info with me, but I can’t remember who it was! Argh!

To learn more about The Cinderella, click here.

There are only nine known Magnolias in the country. You can read more here.

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house 1921

The Cinderella was a very modest house and apparently, they didn't sell too many of these. It was priced at $1,500 and yet only had a single bedroom. The dressing room was located off the living room.

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Cindy 1921

Close-up of the floorplan shows a sink in the dressing room.

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Cindy

Roll-away beds were heavily promoted for use in the Cinderella. Here, you can see the lady of the house has used the dressing room sink for washing out her delicate undergarments.

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DuMont

The DuMont was a pattern-book house offered in the 1920s. It also featured a sink in a closet.

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Dumont

Close-up of the sink in the DuMont off the master-bedroom.

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Sears Maggy 1921

Sears biggest and best house (The Magnolia) also had a sink in the closet.

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South bend

The Sears Magnolia in South Bend, Indiana has the original built-in cabinets, and an original closet sink, together with original faucets. Quite a find, and a testament to the quality of the materials.

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South Bend

Close-up of the sink in the South Bend Magnolia. It also has its original medicine chest and light fixture. This picture is almost two years old. I hope the new owner does an honest restoration of the old house. In all my travels, I've never seen a three-sided sink like this.

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West Virginia

The Magnolia in West Virginia also has its original cabinets in the closet, but the sink has been replaced. Interesting that the sink is placed right next to that window.

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To learn more about The Cinderella, click here.

There are only nine known Magnolias in the country. You can read more here.

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  1. Jan
    April 7th, 2015 at 07:56 | #1

    Now that is an interesting purpose for that dressing room sink!

    Thanks for stepping out of your comfort zone to share this info.

  2. D
    April 7th, 2015 at 08:37 | #2

    Wow, this was really interesting! I remember that tiny pedestal sink in the closet form another blog post and thought it was odd; now I know why it was there!

  3. Dale Wolicki
    April 7th, 2015 at 17:53 | #3

    Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

  4. April 7th, 2015 at 19:54 | #4

    LOL. I thought the same thing, Dale!

  5. Laura (So Ca)
    April 9th, 2015 at 16:31 | #5

    I loved this entry, Rose.

    With all of today’s modern conveniences, we forget about how different life was back in the 20s and 30s.

    I think the closet sink was a practical idea.

    One of the dumbest inventions (after the newness wore off) is the dishwasher.

    We seldom use ours, and with California water shortage, we use water sparingly. We have owned 3 homes in 35 years, and used our dishwashers totaling 12 times.

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