20th Century Home

A ramble through domestic history in the 20th Century

Peerless Kitchens – 1936

A look through a 1936 catalogue issued by Peerless Kitchen Cabinets Ltd of Greenford Middlesex in 1936, “the largest and foremost manufacturers of Built-in Kitchen Furniture. ”

Peerless claim they “were the original advocates of Kitchen planning and hte pioneers in England of Built-in Kitchen Furniuture standardised in sectional units. The Kitchen systems introduced by them have permanently effected the Architecture of the Kitchen. This progress in design is a scientific one and not a temporary satisfying of craving for change.”

The mention of “scientific” design is typical of this era – everything was about the modern, the new, the scientific. There was a faith in the new world and the changes science and technology could bring and people were seeing everything in terms of how application of science could improve people’s lives. Le Corbusier’s famous quote, “The house is a machine for living in” is perhaps the ultimate expression of this.

The standard colours these kitchens were available in was: Cream No 1, Cream No 3, Cream No 6, Peerless Green, Adams Green, Spring Green, Peerless Blue, Jubilee Blue, Margaret Rose, Beige.

Unsurprisingly these fitted kitchens most commonly found their place as part of modern flat developments.

flats

As recommended by Lever Bros – more about Port Sunlight here …

intro

A Breakfast Nook (“constructed in the finest quality Columbian Pine”)

colour_1

breakfast_nook

“The cost of a complete Breakfast Nook which includes: Cooler Unit, China Cupboard, Cutlery Drawers, Storage Shelves, Ironing Board, Broom Cupboard, Duster Drawers, Large Folding Table, Folding Seats, Dry Goods Shelves, is from £16 14s 10d (subject to terms)”

Dresser Unit

Peerless dresser unit

dresser

Cost for the flush panelled version of Unit 1030 – £13 18s 6d

Refrigerator Units

1930s fridges

M151 – the undersink refrigerator unit – could be yours for £2 4s 6d

Combined Unit

combinedcolour_4

The combined unit 590IB would set you back £11 14s 6d

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2 comments on “Peerless Kitchens – 1936

  1. John Boothman
    February 16, 2015

    My grandfather Jack Boothman, who was originally a builder, founded Peerless having moved south from Lancashire. A purpose-built factory was constructed on Western Avenue in Perivale, near the famous Hoover building. Fitted kitchen furniture was a novelty in the early 1930s when most units were free-standing, and the company prospered. Later Peerless diversified into fitted bedroom furniture.

    Under his leadership and that of my father Tommy Boothman, the business continued to produce kitchen and bedroom units for nearly 40 years, but declined in the late 1960s through increased competition, labour disputes and high taxation and was taken over in 1972. It closed shortly afterwards.

    I still have some Peerless catalogues from the pre-war and early post-war periods.

    • caite
      February 17, 2015

      Hi John, thanks for your comment. It’s really interesting to hear from you and great to get a bit of history to put this catalogue in context. This post is one on this site that gets a lot of hits, I think people are very interested in this style of fitted kitchen. Be lovely if you could put some of your material up online too. Is the factory building still there – I’ve driven up and down Western Avenue on many occasions and there are all kinds of interesting looking buildings still there.

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