Antique Butcher meat rack by Bernhard Gloekler

So you Found Yourself with an Antique Butcher's Meat Rack

Hanging around the shop, we have various antique meat racks. originally used in butcher shops. We talked about one of the most famous meat rack inventors, Bernhard Gloekler, in THIS blog post. But it was THIS blog about the Bromann Brothers where we saw real-world applications to maintaining the the rich history of Chicago’s meatpacking past repurposed for a modern aesthetic (more on that later). Since we have so many butcher-related items in our shop, let’s take a look at how to incorporate the antique butcher aesthetic into your home or office decor.


The natural place to start is with revitalizing antique usage by keeping near its intended purpose. Industrial design has always merged well with kitchen and food prep areas, not just with aesthetic, but practicality. This is where butcher block for tables and work benches with attached racks have become much sought after investments. Click HERE or on the pic below to check out all our butcher block tables including these two work benches.

Antique butch block and meat racks at Industrial Artifacts

Naturally, not many people will be hanging raw meats from their kitchen, and the fake meats shown at the end of this blog are dramatic, but are a limited market. Alternative usage for wall mounted or ceiling hung meat racks migrates to other forms of functional decor. In our case in shop, we hung large antique meat cleavers and hog splitters.

Click HERE or on the pic below to see our selection of butcher knives, cleavers, and hog splitters.

Antique butcher meat rack and cabinet at Industrial Artifacts


As dramatic as it is, maybe hanging meats and antique cleavers in your face isn’t for you. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you’re obviously quite a tolerant trooper for making it this far, so let's agree there’s no need to let the primitive carnivores have all the fun. Antique meat racks can also be used to hang pots, cookware, ladles, utensils, etc., but the most beautiful use would be for a hanging your fresh herb garden and/or a rack to dry herbs, plants, and flowers for your kitchen.

Hanging meat rack ideas for the kitchen

Smaller, wall-mounted meat racks have been used for coat and hat racks for decades, but the ideas don't have to stop there. What a wonderful way to display pictures, lighting, candles, and fun family memories. There are so many DYI home repurposing projects online, and yet all of them could be elevated with cast iron and metal of the butcher shop racks.

Pictures of repurpose projects needing a butcher shop aesthetic 


Whoever you are, whatever your age or your budget, utilizing wall and ceiling space for functionality is something we can all use, more of.  Repurposing fantastic artifacts from the Industrial Revolution is only limited by your imagination.  Your salvaging industrial pieces not only helps keeps many of these items out of landfills, but it preserves the history of our country in an effort to be, and do, better. Nothing could be healthier for the environment than investing in lasting products that will continuously find new life beyond meats

Antique butcher shop meat rack with hog splitters, cleavers, and knives at Industrial Artifacts

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, it was the Bromann Brothers post HERE where we found several examples around Chicago where old butcher shops were being renovated, and the architect and owners decided to keep the elements chicago's meatpacking history. In this case, the molding and Bromann Brothers glass signs. But the other elements of Bromann butcher shops are equally intriguing from display cabinets to shop counters found at Industrial Artifacts, which you can find clicking HERE or on the pic below.

Bromann Bros signs in old butcher shops kept in renovations


When out vintage and antique shopping, make sure to check for cracks, chips, and repairs. Repaints usually look sloppy and like a series of blobs. This isn't a dealbreaker, but it will stick out without a little clean up. Make sure to fasten to studs/beams in order to maximize usage. It's not advisable to use antique butcher shop meat racks, cleavers, or hog splitters in the bedroom. We're not going to judge, but the very least, make sure your tetanus shot is up to date. 

What would you use this antique butcher's meat rack for? Click below for a closer look.

1880s - 1890s antique meat rack from Bernard Gloekler Co. at Industrial Artifacts
Let Rock Auction Gallery sell your antiques
Whenever you need a little drama in your decor, no need to fret, Industrial Artifacts has you covered. 
Antique butcher's meat rack, cleavers, knives, and hog splitters with mannequin and chesterfield leather sofa

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.