The Latest in Up-To-Date Home Comforts

Metters Turn of the Century Revolving Pantry

The Revolving Pantry or Rotary Canister Cabinet, Patent No. 6865, was something very different from Metters Limited, a company known more for its stoves especially the Bega fuel stove and the Early Kooka. The pantry contains 28 hinged drawers of increasing size each with a label holder and in total could hold 3cwt (152 kilograms) of groceries. The top row for example held tea and coffee with a drawer for dried herbs below.

The pantry has a metal shaft attached to a wooden base mounted on casters with a metal ‘Metters Ltd Sydney NSW’ label on the wooden base. Available in cream or white duco finish, the pantry was patented in 1912 by Roland Easdown of Wyangala, produced by Metters until at least 1939, and available through Anthony Horderns’ mail order catalogues.

Although promoted as the latest in ‘up-to-date home comforts’ its size, approximately 120 cm (h) and 63 cm (w), would have made it unwieldy in most kitchens despite being on castors. The cost, £10 in 1923 plus freight of 12 shillings 6 pence (12/6) would also have precluded it from being found in any but the most affluent kitchens of the time as the Basic Wage was only £4 a week. This reality may explain why Metters also stated that it was ‘Most suitable in Grocers’ and Confectioners’ Shops’- such as at Wagner’s Store in Jindera NSW.

The revolving pantry was a step away from make-do furniture and its manufacture and mode of sale indicates the shift towards a more consumerist society. However, it was still built to cope with the realities of household and commercial life in the early twentieth century being ‘[p]roof against dust, flies, ants, mice and vermin of all kinds.’