Thread Number: 35676  /  Tag: Refrigerators
Vintage Fridge Thread
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Post# 532234   7/22/2011 at 19:15 (2,280 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

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I've enjoyed the vintage stove thread so lets have a vintage fridge thread to go with it. I've posted these before, but I'll start with my 1952 GE Combination:

Post# 532236 , Reply# 1   7/22/2011 at 19:16 (2,280 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

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Interior. It is still missing the drawers, I haven't found any after searching for several years:

Post# 532239 , Reply# 2   7/22/2011 at 19:20 (2,280 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

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1954 Frigidaire Imperial Cycla-Matic. It is also missing the drawers, plus a few other interior parts are damaged. A kind soul on the forum here (Many Thanks!) is giving me all of the parts I need for cost of shipping.

Post# 532242 , Reply# 3   7/22/2011 at 19:23 (2,280 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

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1955 Frigidaire Cycla-Matic


This is a complete fridge. I had it repainted and replaced the door gasket. Click on the link to see the entire restoration process.


Post# 532244 , Reply# 4   7/22/2011 at 19:28 (2,280 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

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1948 Servel S800


I found this at the side of the road a block from my house. It works but needs a full restoration. It is missing the door for the freezer compartment.

Post# 532245 , Reply# 5   7/22/2011 at 19:29 (2,280 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

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Servel interior

Post# 532246 , Reply# 6   7/22/2011 at 19:34 (2,280 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        
Dream Fridge

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This is the fridge that I lust after. It would be a great companion to my Chambers Imperial range. The fabulous Kelvinator Foodarama



Post# 532248 , Reply# 7   7/22/2011 at 19:36 (2,280 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

When we had the wash in at Gregs in 05 we saw a Servel like this at an estate sale for 50.00 and it looked like NEW!, wish I could have gotten it home.

Post# 532251 , Reply# 8   7/22/2011 at 19:42 (2,280 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

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There was a 1940s Servel on ebay, new-in-crate! It had $2000 Buy-it-now with best offer option. It sold for $1699.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO 58limited's LINK on eBay

Post# 532253 , Reply# 9   7/22/2011 at 19:44 (2,280 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

Foodarama is to die for!

Post# 532254 , Reply# 10   7/22/2011 at 19:47 (2,280 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

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Yes it is. Wish it were mine. Another ebay find for ~$8000.

Post# 532257 , Reply# 11   7/22/2011 at 20:04 (2,280 days old) by henry200 ()        
My Frigidaire

I've had it for about 2 1/2 years.   It needs some cosmetic work and is missing the shelf over the crisper drawer, but it runs like a top and it's so quiet.  Hopefully soon it will be taking its place alongside my newly acquired vintage Gibson range in the kitchen.


Post# 532259 , Reply# 12   7/22/2011 at 20:05 (2,280 days old) by henry200 ()        

'48 or '49 I think

Post# 532260 , Reply# 13   7/22/2011 at 20:06 (2,280 days old) by henry200 ()        

The glass tray under the freezer box is still there too.

Post# 532267 , Reply# 14   7/22/2011 at 20:45 (2,280 days old) by rickr (.)        
1948 GE combo

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we have been using this for about 3 years now. LOVE it! Keeps foods fresher, longer. New 3 wire cord, door gaskets& insulation in the doors, and paint. Thats it!

Post# 532268 , Reply# 15   7/22/2011 at 20:51 (2,280 days old) by rickr (.)        

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the 1948 GE....

Post# 532269 , Reply# 16   7/22/2011 at 20:52 (2,280 days old) by moparguy (Virginia)        

Hi guys, you have some really great fridges. Here's one of my favorites, a Philco Advanced Design conservador with the inner door. I think it's early 40s. I think I need to send each pic separately to show the inner door.

Post# 532270 , Reply# 17   7/22/2011 at 20:53 (2,280 days old) by moparguy (Virginia)        

The inner door...

Post# 532271 , Reply# 18   7/22/2011 at 20:54 (2,280 days old) by moparguy (Virginia)        

... and the 'regular' refrigerator compartment!

Post# 532272 , Reply# 19   7/22/2011 at 20:56 (2,280 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

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WOW! I've never seen the inner door model before! Thanks a lot, now I have another fridge to lust after.


Rickr, that is one nice GE.


Henry200, I love that Frigidaire.

Post# 532273 , Reply# 20   7/22/2011 at 20:56 (2,280 days old) by moparguy (Virginia)        

And to make sure you knew if it was time to raid the fridge for your midnight snack... a handy clock in the fridge door!

Post# 532274 , Reply# 21   7/22/2011 at 20:57 (2,280 days old) by rickr (.)        
1948 GE

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Freezer cold control. It is set at #4 and is plenty cold at that setting. Never needs moved up from that setting.

Post# 532275 , Reply# 22   7/22/2011 at 20:58 (2,280 days old) by rickr (.)        

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WOW!! Love that Philco! Never saw one like that.

Post# 532277 , Reply# 23   7/22/2011 at 20:59 (2,280 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

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Philco had some amazing fridges.

Post# 532279 , Reply# 24   7/22/2011 at 21:15 (2,280 days old) by moparguy (Virginia)        

Here's a better pic of the Norge fridge clock

Post# 532302 , Reply# 25   7/23/2011 at 00:03 (2,280 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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My pics have been posted before, but as long as this thread has been started, here's my '57 GE Combination.  Note the full-width foot pedal for opening the fresh food section door.


One question.  How come none of the GE Combinations pictured have any frost build-up in the freezer?  Mine gets a layer going on the top (ceiling) of the freezer section right away and it wants to creep out toward the front, over the molding.

Post# 532303 , Reply# 26   7/23/2011 at 00:05 (2,280 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
The Revolving Shelves

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I've gotten spoiled by these.

Post# 532304 , Reply# 27   7/23/2011 at 00:08 (2,280 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
It Does Have Vegetable Drawers

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They were hidden by the shelves in the previous picture.

Post# 532316 , Reply# 28   7/23/2011 at 04:40 (2,280 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Beautiful 'fridges!

I have about a dozen or so roundtops stored various places. Let me dig out the camera.


Rick, let's see the Hotpoint downstairs.

Post# 532320 , Reply# 29   7/23/2011 at 05:36 (2,280 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Norge Clock..

Did you know that the clock was called the Night Watch, and it controlled the automatic defroster!

Post# 532321 , Reply# 30   7/23/2011 at 05:38 (2,280 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

My great Aunt had the exact same Philco, they did indeed buy it at the start of WW2, she died in 1986 and it was still running with never a service, and my cousin still has it...still running, and you cant hear it after 70 years!

Post# 532335 , Reply# 31   7/23/2011 at 08:19 (2,280 days old) by countryford (Phoenix, AZ)        

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This is in our kitchen, its a 1949 Hotpoint. We had to do some rewiring to it, but new gaskets, and had it repainted. It was originally white, but is now pink.

Post# 532336 , Reply# 32   7/23/2011 at 08:21 (2,280 days old) by countryford (Phoenix, AZ)        

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We also have this G.E. Americana fridge we picked up from some friends. Had to do a little work to it, but it works great now. We have it on our back patio and use it for beer and soda and water. The backsplash below the fridge part does light up as well.

Post# 532337 , Reply# 33   7/23/2011 at 08:21 (2,280 days old) by countryford (Phoenix, AZ)        

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Interior shot of the fridge.

Post# 532338 , Reply# 34   7/23/2011 at 08:22 (2,280 days old) by countryford (Phoenix, AZ)        

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Inside the freezer.

Post# 532349 , Reply# 35   7/23/2011 at 09:27 (2,280 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

Are beautiful, I LOVE PINK!!

Post# 532370 , Reply# 36   7/23/2011 at 12:13 (2,280 days old) by appliguy (Oakton Va.)        
Norgeway if you love pink then how about this

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I call her Edna..PAT COFFEY

Post# 532371 , Reply# 37   7/23/2011 at 12:14 (2,280 days old) by appliguy (Oakton Va.)        
Here is the interior

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You gotta love those revolving shelves

Post# 532405 , Reply# 38   7/23/2011 at 14:50 (2,280 days old) by BugsyJones ()        

I could die happy if I had a Foodarama!

I would have no need for any other refrigerator.

~Tim J.

Post# 532410 , Reply# 39   7/23/2011 at 14:54 (2,280 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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My 1964 Frigidaire Imperial fridge

Post# 532413 , Reply# 40   7/23/2011 at 15:02 (2,280 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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My 1963 Frigidaire Imperial fridge

Post# 532640 , Reply# 41   7/24/2011 at 19:40 (2,278 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I Used!

A turquoise frigidaire just like the last one in my old house, it was even left hand door, great design inside too!...63 was a good year!

Post# 532786 , Reply# 42   7/25/2011 at 17:05 (2,278 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        
Food A Rama

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Post# 532795 , Reply# 43   7/25/2011 at 17:24 (2,278 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        
Food A Rama

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I haven't seen that style of door handles on a Food-A-Rama before.

Post# 532836 , Reply# 44   7/25/2011 at 21:20 (2,277 days old) by rickr (.)        
Our basement fridge

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1954-55?? Hotpoint combo.

Sure a lot a vintage GE/Hotpoint refrigerators still in use today! I think they must have been "overbuilt" even for back then.

Post# 532837 , Reply# 45   7/25/2011 at 21:21 (2,277 days old) by swestoyz (Waterloo, Iowa)        

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Fridges - Ugh. Love to collect them, but they take up so much space.

GE Monitor Top - just brought home.

'61 Frigidaire in the background.

Post# 532838 , Reply# 46   7/25/2011 at 21:22 (2,277 days old) by swestoyz (Waterloo, Iowa)        

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'66 Amana - daily driver now upstairs in the kitchen. Love this fridge. Recently had to replace the defrost timer. Works wonderfully now.

Post# 532839 , Reply# 47   7/25/2011 at 21:22 (2,277 days old) by swestoyz (Waterloo, Iowa)        

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'51 GE combination. Was a daily driver up until last fall.

Post# 532840 , Reply# 48   7/25/2011 at 21:23 (2,277 days old) by swestoyz (Waterloo, Iowa)        

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'55 Frigidaire combination (right). Was the beer fridge for a recent wash-in. While it is an aftermarket shaded paint-job, it is one of those deals where you have to see it in person to see how cool it is.

Post# 532842 , Reply# 49   7/25/2011 at 21:26 (2,277 days old) by swestoyz (Waterloo, Iowa)        

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'57 GE combination. This is still up in Minnesota. I can't wait to bring it home.

Post# 532843 , Reply# 50   7/25/2011 at 21:28 (2,277 days old) by swestoyz (Waterloo, Iowa)        

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'61 Frigidaire. She's got a cold control issue and needs some TLC (draft motor going out).

Post# 532845 , Reply# 51   7/25/2011 at 21:31 (2,277 days old) by swestoyz (Waterloo, Iowa)        

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Finally - '62 GE. Deceptively HUGE. At one point the compressor was giving signs that it was dead several years ago, but somehow it kept all the food cold for a week when the defrost timer died in the Amana a month ago.

Not sure what to do with this one.

Post# 532847 , Reply# 52   7/25/2011 at 21:38 (2,277 days old) by swestoyz (Waterloo, Iowa)        

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Woops - forgot one. Ugh. 1935 belt-drive Frigidaire. Not meant for use but instead makes a for a conversation piece (and storage!) in the dining room.

Post# 532859 , Reply# 53   7/25/2011 at 22:53 (2,277 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Ben, that Amana in your kitchen looks remarkably similar to a Norge our neighbors had.  Is it frost-free?  Does the freezer fan cut out when you open the freezer door?


I also agree with Rick that GE fridges from the 50's were apparently built for the ages, but I think we can go back even further.  So many monitor tops have been running for close to 80 years.  Based on survival rate, either GE sold as many refrigerators as all of its competitors combined during the 30's through the 60's or they had the best mechanical systems of any manufacturer.  I suspect the latter assertion is the more likely of the two.

Post# 532865 , Reply# 54   7/25/2011 at 23:22 (2,277 days old) by Travis ()        

Looks like someone is collecting more fridges than I am. :-)

Post# 532870 , Reply# 55   7/26/2011 at 00:44 (2,277 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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Here's my former GE fridge. This one still used sulfur dioxide and it had door shelves. It needed a new paint but it was in perfect working condition.   I tried to give it away as I was lacking space but no one wanted it. I got paid 60$ to scrap it with a recycling program.


See the link for pictures of old but perfectly running Hotpoint and GE fridges that were embalmed while still alive (the SO2 was being removed from them) before being recycled.  These refrigerators still used huge compressors surrounded by cooling fins that were similar to those in monitor tops (but relocated under them). I'm wondering what type of compressors these were?  Also can someone tell me when GE finally switched to R-12 refrigerant and did it coincide with the switch to the smaller horizontally-mounted cylindrical-shaped compressors?


Most of these fridges outlasted their original owners, I guess that's why they're being exterminated. Our throw-away society doesn't want future generations to see that low tech appliances from the 1940's that could outlast their original owner's grandchildren without even needing servicing. 


This post was last edited 07/26/2011 at 01:07
Post# 532881 , Reply# 56   7/26/2011 at 05:30 (2,277 days old) by athanasius80 (California)        

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I do not have an exact year, but GE was using SO2 until at least the 1942 model range, possibly later. I would think the conversion to R12 Freon came in the late 1940s.

And yes, they use the same big compressors as the CK series Monitor Tops. They have a single horizontal piston in a Scotch yoke. As you can tell, GE knew what they were doing. I suspect more machines died from defrosting mishaps than from compressor failures.

Post# 532896 , Reply# 57   7/26/2011 at 06:42 (2,277 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

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Overall I would say that GE has built some of the best refrigerators 1920s- now much better overall than GM Frigidare. However GE did experience many bumps along the road in terms of early product failures. Starting in the mid 1950s GE had a bad compressor design that lasted till around 1964 where the compressors would loose capacity and have to be replaced. There automatic ice-maker was a disaster from 1968-1985 when they just copied WPs IM. And again in 1985 when they came out with an all new rotary compressor. These RC models were made from 1985-1991 and had the highest failure rate ever in refrigerator history, on larger models they failed in 2-7 years, however some of the smaller models actually lasted almost 10 years. After they recovered from this mess they again became quite good until around 2000 when they added a large computer board the the back of thier refs and a short lived defrost heater in thier SXSs to say nothing of the Artcia disaster and the LG inspired bottom freezers. We have been busy ever since.

But in-spite of all these problems GE always built a good quality box that was fixable and performed very well when working properly. 


Frigidare on the other hand built some great refrigerators until the Frost Proof models started in the late 1950s-the late 1960s. Theses refs were often beautiful and worked well for 10-20 years but did not age well in many cases and are among the most difficult to get running correctly today. Frigidares IMs were also a disaster but very interesting designs.


Overall the best modern classics are the WP products from the early 1960s- today. In this period they produced few badly designed refrigerators and thier IMs and dispenser systems have always worked well with few major problems.


Going back to the old manual defrost refrigerators there were many good machines that have lasted to this day. Brands like Norge, Philco, Hotpoint [ although they shared all GEs problems from 1955 on], Kelvinator, Westinghouse, Gibson, old Coldspots built by Seeger Refrigerator Co., and many many others.

Post# 533061 , Reply# 58   7/26/2011 at 20:12 (2,276 days old) by BugsyJones ()        

That Foodarama is a 1957 model. They seem to be a little more obscure. I see alot more 55 and 56 models than 57 and 58 ones.

The handles are a diamond-shaped pull-out style similar in mechanics to the previous years. The square portion underneath is like a decorative plate that says Kelvinator Foodarama.

The 57's are pretty much the same as the 55-56 models. One of the few differences besides handles is the crisper is moved to the door.

I'd take it no matter what year!

~Tim J.

Post# 533064 , Reply# 59   7/26/2011 at 20:41 (2,276 days old) by swestoyz (Waterloo, Iowa)        

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Yep, the '66 Amana is a frost-free beast - "Free-O-Frost". When you open the refrigerator door the draft fan stops running in the freezer.

Earlier this summer I was noticing the bottom freezer plate was growing an excessive frost layer. Eventually the draft wasn't keeping the refrigeration compartment cold as the draft vents were blocked on the plate!

Sure enough, the defrost timer motor had gone kaput. I suspect it had been limping along for several months, and finally gave way at the height of the midwest humidity.

The replacement defrost timer from Grainger works perfectly (6X869). Now everything in the freezer is always frost free.

@ Travis - yes, I have developed a refrigerator problem. Time to start planning for a bigger place!



This post was last edited 07/26/2011 at 20:59
Post# 533101 , Reply# 60   7/27/2011 at 00:35 (2,276 days old) by westingman123 ()        

"I've developed a refrigerator problem." Ben, lemme tell ya, I've SEEN Travis' stash--you're in good shape! LOL That Combo is to DIE for.

Post# 533111 , Reply# 61   7/27/2011 at 01:38 (2,276 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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"Frigidare on the other hand built some great refrigerators until the Frost Proof models started in the late 1950s-the late 1960s. Theses refs were often beautiful and worked well for 10-20 years but did not age well in many cases and are among the most difficult to get running correctly today. Frigidares IMs were also a disaster but very interesting designs."



What didn't age well and made them difficult to get running correctly? A Frigidaire serviceman told me that the pre-1963 models with cold plates in their refrigerator section had more failures (of the cold plate itself).


My 1963 Frigidaire Imperial is still running strong and it still seems to have it's original components (including the defrost timer). My 1964 was serviced as the defrosting system had gone wrong and melted some air ducts in the freezer. The defrost timer and the defrost element had to be replaced and the compressor leaked some oil at the electrical connections (which were tightened) but it's still running and getting it's freezer to 0°F but it's running longer than the 1963 after the defrost (which can get it's freezer much below 0°F in a short time).

I wish I could find a replacement compressor for my 1964 but these seem to be hard to find. I use both of these fridges as my main refrigerators presently. 

Does anybody know where I could get a 7/32 hp Meter-Miser compressor?

Post# 533268 , Reply# 62   7/27/2011 at 16:49 (2,276 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Ben, that's not too bad a problem to have, it could be worse!

Post# 533293 , Reply# 63   7/27/2011 at 19:56 (2,275 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
My two cents worth!

You can believe this or not!but, the Westinghouses of the early 50s that say Colder Cold, will keep ice cream as hard as a newer fridge with a seperate freezer compartment, I had a 50 Frigidaire and my cousin had a 56 Hotpoint, both single door boxes and they would NOT! keep ice cream unless you put it in a glass or metal container, my Grandmothers 50 Westinghouse kept it hard as a brick, go figure! As to the 60s Frigidaires, ANYTHING frost free will naturally give more trouble, personally, I had a 63 Imperial 16 foot bottom freezer in turquoise and it was ok, but once in a while the fridge temp fluxuated because of that thermostatic duct thing sticking, I got tired of hearing the defrost timer squeal, so a friend in Rockingham has it now, but the meter misers do get more noisy with age where as a Westinghouse or GE stays nearly silent, John L. What do you say, you are the expert.

Post# 533309 , Reply# 64   7/28/2011 at 00:07 (2,275 days old) by stan (Napa CA)        
Old GE

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Don't know if I can answer PhilR's question about the R12, but her is a pic of my GE monitor top,
(sorry it's side ways) it had factory R12 in it until a couple of years ago, then finally lost it's charge, but a appliance guy came out and re charged with 409A, so far so good!


Post# 533418 , Reply# 65   7/28/2011 at 13:21 (2,275 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Ben, your Amana looks brand new!  Thanks for answering my questions and posting the additional pictures.

Post# 533514 , Reply# 66   7/28/2011 at 17:17 (2,275 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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My '63 doesn't make noise, it's quieter than the '64. I'm quite impressed that it still works since for the first 46 years of use, it was enclosed in the cabinets shown in the picture and when I removed it from there, the temp at the rear of the fridge (where the condenser is located on these) must have been above 100°. If your friend ever gets rid of the 1963, I'd be interested in buying some parts from it!






Your Monitor top looks much older than my former GE fridge. Do you know when it was manufactured?


Or maybe SO2 was used longer here in Canada?

Post# 533549 , Reply# 67   7/28/2011 at 21:29 (2,274 days old) by scotto ()        
Kelvinator Foodarama

I'm down to my last restored Foodarama - a 1956.

Post# 533557 , Reply# 68   7/28/2011 at 22:50 (2,274 days old) by swestoyz (Waterloo, Iowa)        

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Holly Kelvinator and Frigidaire goodness! Phil - I love your '63. Wish the '61 in the basement ran as well as your '63.

And those mint Kelvinators? Guessing they've been resprayed?

About Stan's GE - now, I'm no expert, but from what I've read Monitor Tops all came standard as S02 systems. Maybe it was converted to R12 at some point? Love the squared off version - was this considered a flat top?

@ Ralph - no problem. Thankfully I have plenty of pre 'defrosting' photos. The post damage to the freezer compartment is sad at best. Still runs like a top though, however, heats up the kitchen at least 3 degrees in the summer.


Post# 533568 , Reply# 69   7/29/2011 at 03:20 (2,274 days old) by stan (Napa CA)        
old GE

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Hi Hans. I don't know the year, and don't see the square monitor tops too often, so I'd have to guess 1938 ?? was hoping someone here might know more!

Post# 533589 , Reply# 70   7/29/2011 at 07:41 (2,274 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        
50's Hotpoint

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I found this at a tag sale, under $40, it just needed a good cleaning including some car rubbing compound.

Post# 533590 , Reply# 71   7/29/2011 at 07:43 (2,274 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        

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except for some small shelf in the freezer, and some half shelf that hooked onto the right side of the refridge compartment, it had all components, all the main shelves and bins in place

Post# 533591 , Reply# 72   7/29/2011 at 07:45 (2,274 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        
more pics

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inner door, including a butter compartment with a small heater, keeps butter warmer than rest of food.

Post# 533592 , Reply# 73   7/29/2011 at 07:48 (2,274 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        
more pics

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pic on its side, sorry. Behind the bottom cover is an emptying tray for defrosting. Remember those days?

Also, all these shelves slide out. I think, for its day, it was a TOL Hotpoint. Sometime in the 50's, like me.
Also, after 2 days with baking soda, all odors are gone permanently, everything is fresh and ice cubes take about 1.5 hours

Post# 533654 , Reply# 74   7/29/2011 at 18:56 (2,273 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        
Blue GE

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C/L Kendalville IN. A bit pricy, though!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO goatfarmer's LINK on Southbend Craigslist

Post# 533778 , Reply# 75   7/30/2011 at 16:24 (2,273 days old) by swestoyz (Waterloo, Iowa)        
Very early GE

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Hey guys -

This one just showed up at a local consignment shop. They want some big money for it, and if it sits through the winter, I'll throw them a low ball price in the spring. Someone has rattle canned everything, along with some brush paint on the top at some point. Would take quite a bit of work to get it looking good again.

This looks early to me - anyone have an idea on the year of this monitor top?


Post# 533792 , Reply# 76   7/30/2011 at 17:29 (2,273 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Travis will know that monitor top's vintage for sure.  I'm guessing it's no newer than 1930.  Early models had a tall thin control box with a thumb wheel which I think was used at least into 1928 but again, Travis will know for sure.  Behind the badge is an oil heating element.  Before you buy the fridge (assuming you strike a deal) and when you plug it in, check to see if that element gets hot.  It's removable and looks like a stick of chalk.  There was a GE part #WW8X64 that worked as a replacement and still available into the 1980's, but I don't know if that number is still good or if the part is still made.


Regarding the paint issue, my early double-door model had been sprayed an ugly copper.  Not coppertone, but a can of trying-to-be copper.  One day I decided I had nothing to lose and hit a patch on one of the doors with paint remover.  The copper wiped right off and underneath was the porcelain enamel finish.  It looked yellowed.  I never took it any further.  I presume only the doors had the porcelain finish and that that the rest of the cabinet and top were originally painted surfaces.

Post# 533823 , Reply# 77   7/30/2011 at 19:35 (2,272 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

goatfarmer's profile picture

Oven cleaner also works to take off spray paint.

Post# 533840 , Reply# 78   7/30/2011 at 20:35 (2,272 days old) by stan (Napa CA)        
Old GE

stan's profile picture
Have a mystery with my old G.E I guess, Most think is has S02 or use to! This vintage fridge has always been somewhat of a mystery to me as well, It did have factory R12 in it as indicated on the manufacture's plate on the top left corner, and there is no evidence that there has been any alteration. ( I've had it 15 or so years) I see these flat monitor's from time to time, but very rarely. Tried to get info from G.E once, but didn't get far!
Was told once by someone (can't remember who) that this may have been G.E's try at the "new freon") Was hoping to solve the "mystery" here!


Post# 533946 , Reply# 79   7/31/2011 at 09:19 (2,272 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
So how many Cubic Feet...--

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
--Is that AMANA Fridge????

Is the meat keeper supposed to be on that top shelf?

How many light bulbs does it have? I'm surprised to see them behind a panel in the back of the refrigerated section, too; I believe that the later models had the small tubular-shaped bulbs up front (One, and two on the larger models)...

And nice how GE was as successful in dominating the market w/ their refrigerators, as it was w/ their ranges & dishwashers, especially in the way of longevity, too!

-- Dave

Post# 534011 , Reply# 80   7/31/2011 at 12:37 (2,272 days old) by peteski50 (New York)        

peteski50's profile picture
I like the slim line look!

Post# 534095 , Reply# 81   7/31/2011 at 14:55 (2,272 days old) by drmitch ()        

Wow, these are some great fridges! I was working on mine about a year ago and wondered what your thoughts were on using a spray foam insulation in the door. The original insulation in mine had got wet and really rusted the bottom of the door badly. Any ideas?

Post# 534124 , Reply# 82   7/31/2011 at 17:40 (2,272 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

goatfarmer's profile picture

Nice Philco!

 I would think spray foam would work, might make the door a bit heavier.

Post# 534125 , Reply# 83   7/31/2011 at 17:43 (2,272 days old) by Travis ()        



That other monitor top dates to 1929-1932.  It's the smallest of the original DR series.




You have an older cabinet with an FEA replacement top.  The flat top units always used R12 and run fine, though lacking the aesthetics of it's older round brothers.

Post# 534168 , Reply# 84   7/31/2011 at 22:23 (2,271 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

58limited's profile picture

A college buddy of mine just called. He is buying a property and found this Philco in the barn. He's all excited about maybe fixing it up, but I told him that it is pretty rough and may not even work. I e-mailed him to see if the missing parts are in the barn too, no reply yet. He doesn't know much about old appliances. In the past year he, along with his wife, has developed an interest in vintage appliances, notably after finding an O'Keefe & Merritt stove at a resale shop (he didn't buy it - no place to put it. Now he regrets that decision, he could have stored it for awhile). His interest was also awakened by seeing my kitchen. Anyone know what year this is? I'm guessing early 1950's, but could be late 1940s:



Post# 534169 , Reply# 85   7/31/2011 at 22:24 (2,271 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

58limited's profile picture


Post# 534170 , Reply# 86   7/31/2011 at 22:26 (2,271 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

58limited's profile picture

This Amana freezer is in the barn too. I've never seen one before. If you go back up and look at the first Philco pic, you can see part of the freezer in that pic - it is a bit taller than the fridge, probably weighs a ton! Based on the door and wall thickness, I was guessing it is from the 1930s, but found ads on ebay up to 1953 that look like this model:



Post# 534171 , Reply# 87   7/31/2011 at 22:27 (2,271 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

58limited's profile picture


Post# 534185 , Reply# 88   8/1/2011 at 00:09 (2,271 days old) by 54monroe ()        

Rare 16 cu.ft. side by side.

Post# 534186 , Reply# 89   8/1/2011 at 00:14 (2,271 days old) by 54monroe ()        

Rare 16 cu.ft. side by side.

Post# 534191 , Reply# 90   8/1/2011 at 00:57 (2,271 days old) by stan (Napa CA)        
Old GE

stan's profile picture
Travis, so do you think this is a conversion? The FEA # is on the plate on the cabinet, not on the top (monitor)
Saw one on ebay just like mine for $ 1400.00. about had heart failure when I saw the price

Post# 534853 , Reply# 91   8/3/2011 at 21:12 (2,268 days old) by moparguy (Virginia)        

I love my Philcos... my latest find... yet to be cleaned, but it has all the door shelves which are so cool!

Post# 534854 , Reply# 92   8/3/2011 at 21:14 (2,268 days old) by moparguy (Virginia)        

And the outside with its cool design and great handles!

Post# 534902 , Reply# 93   8/4/2011 at 05:40 (2,268 days old) by retro-man (nashua,nh)        

I love the statement above the refrig section "Air conditioned food storage" never seen that before. lol

Post# 535327 , Reply# 94   8/6/2011 at 10:16 (2,266 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

58limited's profile picture

Just found this on Craigslist, a 1950s stainless Foodarama. I started a new thread about this fridge, go there for a link to the ad.

Post# 535537 , Reply# 95   8/7/2011 at 14:32 (2,265 days old) by Travis ()        

Stan, the compressor top to your fridge is much newer than the cabinet. If you lift the refrigeration unit off of a monitor top cabinet, you're left with a giant rectangular hole in the top.

Most of the top of these old cabinets is part of the refrigeration unit. Therefore, the data plate is fastened to that. The cabinet data plate or sticker is usually in the bottom, between the front legs.

Post# 535556 , Reply# 96   8/7/2011 at 16:30 (2,265 days old) by paulg (My sweet home... Chicago)        
drMitch Philco

paulg's profile picture
He DrMitch - your Philco fridge is virtually identical to my Crosley of the same era.
Where did you get your door gasket? I need a new one too.
Since both Philco and Crosley fridges were AVCO units during that same period I'd bet the gaskets are the same.

Post# 535605 , Reply# 97   8/7/2011 at 20:57 (2,264 days old) by mixfinder ()        
New/Old Vintage

I have a Frigidaire all refrigerator and I am loving it.

Post# 535606 , Reply# 98   8/7/2011 at 20:59 (2,264 days old) by mixfinder ()        
The Beast is Gone

The General Electric bottom freezer behemouth is gone and this sleek beauty is in it's place

Post# 535607 , Reply# 99   8/7/2011 at 21:02 (2,264 days old) by mixfinder ()        
Painted Lady

The fridge was Almond when it arrived and now it is white.  There's mostly paint on the door that holds paint rollers and brushes.  Not much in the fridge, I am getting ready to be gone for 10 days following surgery.

Post# 535608 , Reply# 100   8/7/2011 at 21:04 (2,264 days old) by mixfinder ()        
Polar North

The small ice compartment sits in the corner, I am looking for an ice maker to install.  This fridge is silent, does a great job of cooling and holds a ton.

Post# 535614 , Reply# 101   8/7/2011 at 21:25 (2,264 days old) by stan (Napa CA)        
Old GE

stan's profile picture
Hi Travis, dont see any data plate between the two front legs? I"m still confused? Did G.E make the fridge this way? or was this done by an appliance guy years ago?
The only data plate I can see is on top of the cabinet. far left corner, # starting with FEA...


Post# 535623 , Reply# 102   8/7/2011 at 22:26 (2,264 days old) by Travis ()        


Monitor tops were shipped in two parts, the cabinet and the compressor top. You could have bought a porcelain cabinet or a painted finish.

You have an older cabinet that was sold with the same vintage compressor top. Sometime, long ago the compressor failed and the FEA compressor top was dropped on your old cabinet.

It's authentic GE, but it's two parts are not of same age.

Post# 535631 , Reply# 103   8/7/2011 at 23:50 (2,264 days old) by stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
Thanks Travis, mystery solved after all these years! This must be the case with some others I've seen, that look just like mine? The info is much appreciated, as I have always wondered about it.


Post# 535651 , Reply# 104   8/8/2011 at 03:33 (2,264 days old) by appliguy (Oakton Va.)        
Paul G

appliguy's profile picture

Philco was NEVER part of AVCO. In 1957 Philco bought the Bendix division of AVCO and made appliances under the Philco-Bendix name. They continued to do this even after Ford bought Philco in 1962. A member hereeven has a 1974 Coin Op Philco Bendix front loader. PAT COFFEY

Post# 726426 , Reply# 105   1/9/2014 at 13:10 (1,379 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        
Just found this thread

ken's profile picture
Got give it a bump

Post# 729731 , Reply# 106   1/22/2014 at 19:35 (1,365 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

58limited's profile picture

Geez, I forgot about this thread. Since the last posts I've acquired a big Hotpoint like the one 54monroe posted above, another 1948 Servel, and....FINALLY....a Foodarama.

Post# 729738 , Reply# 107   1/22/2014 at 19:49 (1,365 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

58limited's profile picture

Yes, it has the rare juice containers.

Post# 729747 , Reply# 108   1/22/2014 at 20:18 (1,365 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

danemodsandy's profile picture
If you get a chance, photos of your Servel would be really, really interesting to see!

Post# 729918 , Reply# 109   1/23/2014 at 15:52 (1,365 days old) by ricky5050 (Durham Britain)        
1950s uk gec

ricky5050's profile picture
This is my daily fridge lovely and quiet motor

Post# 729919 , Reply# 110   1/23/2014 at 15:54 (1,365 days old) by ricky5050 (Durham Britain)        

ricky5050's profile picture

Post# 729925 , Reply# 111   1/23/2014 at 16:13 (1,365 days old) by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

supersuds's profile picture
I didn't know GEC made refrigerators!

Post# 729980 , Reply# 112   1/23/2014 at 21:18 (1,364 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        
For Sandy: 1948 Servel S-800

58limited's profile picture

Found this at the side of the road and it works!

Post# 729981 , Reply# 113   1/23/2014 at 21:20 (1,364 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

58limited's profile picture

Interior. Missing the glass freezer door.

Post# 729983 , Reply# 114   1/23/2014 at 21:25 (1,364 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        
Servel S-800A

58limited's profile picture

Pretty much the same as the S-800 but the door emblem and door handle is different, no exterior stainless trim, no chrome on the drawers or glass over the veggie shelves. This one is in nicer shape than my S-800 but it doesn't work. It is charged, the exterior of the plumbing is cleaner than my other one. I burped it, but it isn't cooling. Need to check the firebox for a blockage. Both of these Servels are very heavy and hard to deal with by myself.

Post# 729984 , Reply# 115   1/23/2014 at 21:27 (1,364 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        
S-800A Interior

58limited's profile picture


Post# 729985 , Reply# 116   1/23/2014 at 21:28 (1,364 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        
1939/40? Hotpoint

58limited's profile picture

This thing is bigger than the Foodarama. Note that the date on the picture is incorrect - my camera needs to be reset. These pics were taken last spring.

Post# 729986 , Reply# 117   1/23/2014 at 21:29 (1,364 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

58limited's profile picture


Post# 733835 , Reply# 118   2/8/2014 at 20:01 (1,348 days old) by BlackHat ()        
My old GE

Still looking for the matching upright freezer....

Post# 733838 , Reply# 119   2/8/2014 at 20:04 (1,348 days old) by BlackHat ()        

Any help finding the freezer would be appreciated.

Post# 733868 , Reply# 120   2/8/2014 at 22:13 (1,348 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta Georgia )        

ovrphil's profile picture
Blackhat - if you have a picture of what you're looking for...not saying I'll find it, but if I come across it in my CL's searches....would let you know. Here's one that's upright - is it similar to this one:

Your 1956 makes this one, asking $500, look like a scrap yard find


CLICK HERE TO GO TO ovrphil's LINK on Cosprings Craigslist

This post was last edited 02/08/2014 at 23:39
Post# 733943 , Reply# 121   2/9/2014 at 09:20 (1,348 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

philr's profile picture

Phil, you find a lot of interesting things! I wish I could afford to travel anywhere to get them!


Post# 733950 , Reply# 122   2/9/2014 at 10:06 (1,348 days old) by moparwash (Pittsburgh,PA -Next Wash-In...June 2018!)        
1953? Kelvinator

moparwash's profile picture

This came with the house I bought in 2007...keeps pop and beer nice and cold!...the tag on the back says Nash-Kelvinator..predating the May 1, 1954 formation of American Motors

Post# 733951 , Reply# 123   2/9/2014 at 10:07 (1,348 days old) by moparwash (Pittsburgh,PA -Next Wash-In...June 2018!)        

moparwash's profile picture

Money shot...have all the shelves and crisper...

Post# 733965 , Reply# 124   2/9/2014 at 11:02 (1,348 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta Georgia )        
"...a lot of interesting things!"...

ovrphil's profile picture
PhilR - there were so many interesting shapes, designs and options, it seems, in past appliances.
Like the 60's - each year, we'd wonder what the new(released in September usually)cars would look like.
That kind of change doesn't fit the financial models today.

But wait, there's more....

When 3D printing gets really good and reasonable...we'll just keep all the old vintage stuff going and
maybe make a few of our own designs....10-15 years from now? Father time, mother reality..maybe longer.

Post# 734047 , Reply# 125   2/9/2014 at 16:54 (1,348 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

58limited's profile picture

That Frigidaire deep freeze is a 1955 model. Wish I was closer, I have the matching fridge:




Post# 734096 , Reply# 126   2/9/2014 at 19:47 (1,347 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta Georgia )        

ovrphil's profile picture
58limited - ohwow, wouldn't it be nice to have those paired together? I'm glad to post these, but can't help
feel some of the "pain" when they're too far away to fetch. Your restored '55 is nice! I've read about your house, too, David. You've done a lot to improve that house - nice place, nice location, too!

Post# 734138 , Reply# 127   2/9/2014 at 21:45 (1,347 days old) by Vacosaurus (Cleveland Ohio)        

Looking at your two gas Servels reminded me of when I was a young boy we had one of these I think it was a 1948 that my father bought new and it stopped working in the mid sixties. My father figured out what was wrong with it. The flue that the hot gases went up to heat the refrigerant warped shut and the heat would not go up. So he came up with the idea to weld a extension rod to a drill bit and chuck it in a hand electric drill and the plan was to drill a hole thru the obstuction. So he laid the fridge on it's side and knelt down to start drilling from the bottom a few seconds later a jet of refrigerant started shooting out and then caught on fire from the sparks from the drill's brushes and armature. He was lucky his face was not in line with the flue because the flame shot straight out about 3 feet like a rocket but he did singe off his right eyebrow and got a huge 2 inch long pus blister on his right hand. I was about ten years old and ran and got our CO 2 extinguisher and put out the flame but the refrigerant continued to hiss out for a while after the flame. Needless to say that Servel was in the rubbish the next day. About ten years after that we had another even older Sevel we used for pop and beer did the same thing with the flue and I just came by when he was screwing around with it and he was sticking a 3/8 inch round steel rod down the flue and I said to him do you really think you should be doing that. He stopped dead in his tracks and said your right and said OUT meaning the refrigerator in the rubbish. I thought of that episode many times in my life and it probably saved me from doing a lot of dangerous not well thought out things. It's funny to look back now because no one was seriously hurt. Bill,

Post# 734281 , Reply# 128   2/10/2014 at 16:48 (1,347 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

The old Kelvinator that Jerry (Moparwash) shows looks a lot like one we had in our basement for a while. Seems like I saw something on it to indicate it was a '49 model. My dad had bought it used in the late 60's, and it ran for a couple years and quit. It was replaced by a '47 Frigidaire, that was still working the last time it was plugged in.

Post# 735596 , Reply# 129   2/16/2014 at 05:43 (1,341 days old) by BlackHat ()        

This is what I am looking for..(the fellas site that I pulled it from has yet to reply back to me)


Post# 797236 , Reply# 130   12/3/2014 at 20:18 (1,050 days old) by Northwesty (Renton, WA)        
My refrigerators

Hi All, thought I might start a new thread but upon finding this one I guess it could go here. Here is my monitor top GE -- it would take a lot for me to part with this great fridge -- I've had it over 30 years. But, I noticed some rust on the bottom the other day, it had been there awhile but when I went down to clean it horrors I realized it was coming from rusting from the inside out.

SO it seems that while defrosting this over the years there developed some leak that let water into the bottom and this water had been down there for years. I had to basically tear it apart, which I have done before, but it is going to take a while for me to fix it.

Meanwhile I had seen a fridge on a site featuring estate sales so I figured I better go check it out...

  View Full Size
Post# 797237 , Reply# 131   12/3/2014 at 20:25 (1,050 days old) by Northwesty (Renton, WA)        
1954 GE

I was looking at this and it was 50 bucks, so I figured I better get it. I had no idea how heavy this thing was, and I've moved these Westinghouse washers, plus my Liberator stove, myself. The Monitor top is heavy too. Any this was in the basement and it took about a half hour to get it out. I trapped a bunch of people in the basement as it was stuck at the top of the stairs. The estate sale people were very kind and we all finally got it out. But I was much embarrassed.

I was a little rusty looking but this inside, looks like it has never been used. There is a little discoloration on the gasket but it cleaned up nicely. I don't know if it has been off for years, but they suggested it was off for three months. There was a diet coke from 2002 inside, but with water in the freezer, so who knows. It is in really good shape though.

  View Full Size
Post# 797238 , Reply# 132   12/3/2014 at 20:31 (1,050 days old) by Northwesty (Renton, WA)        

Anyway, this fridge is sure a more practical addition, and more in line with the vintage of the stove. I have known about these and really was so fortunate to have only gone one day without a fridge and have such a find fall into my lap.

It had a bit of a temp gauge issue but I think I fixed it - it seems to be in perfect working condition.

I slather these vintage appliances in Soft-Scrub with bleach, I put some plastic over it to let it sit for a few hours, or even overnight, and it takes out the discoloration in the finish very well. Still, this one might need repainting but I won't do that till the summer. Again, the inside, after cleaning, was great.

Thanks for looking and happy holidays.

  View Full Size
Post# 797240 , Reply# 133   12/3/2014 at 21:07 (1,050 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

danemodsandy's profile picture
That range and fridge together are terrific! I have always had a soft spot for GE 40-inchers of that vintage.

And you have the Kenmore laundry pair. Lucky guy!

I really like your kitchen. I well remember when a kitchen like that was considered damn nice; you didn't dream of wanting anything grander. I especially like the cabinets, which are wipe-clean in that white finish. Why people want to deal with carved cabinet fronts that trap grease and dust is beyond me.

You really do have a nice early-'50s thing going on there. Great to see.

Post# 797247 , Reply# 134   12/3/2014 at 22:16 (1,050 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta Georgia )        

ovrphil's profile picture
Brian - your new GE looks perfect with the stove and your kitchen is a time-warp. I can't believe you had that monitor for 30 years? When did you get it, when you were 12? :-) I'd need a course in survival training to have such a smallish fridge. You did well, if that was your only fridge for all these years. I'm glad you found the GE and…good to know your back is still with you. I say, also, because I worked for moving companies during summers between college. Just imagine moving in the 30's, 40's and 50's; the stoves, refrigerators, and washer and dryers were missile weights, unlike the appliances today that are easy lifted trebuchet ammo.(and where most of them should be used, after they die their short lives, in some cases).



Post# 797250 , Reply# 135   12/3/2014 at 22:30 (1,050 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



Brian, what wonderful appliances. Love your kitchen. Reminds me of my aunts kitchen when I was 5 or so.

Do you use Softscrub to lighten the outside of the refrigerator? My 64' GE is a bit yellow with age.



Post# 797307 , Reply# 136   12/4/2014 at 06:48 (1,050 days old) by moparguy (Virginia)        

Beautiful! The kitchen, both fridges, and your range! And you will find ways to fill all that extra space inside the fridge!

Post# 842462 , Reply# 137   9/23/2015 at 17:05 (757 days old) by captbrp (Mobile, AL)        
data plate on a late 40s or early 50s GE refrigerator

Hello all,

I am new to this forum and thank you all in advance for your help. I have a late 40s or early 50s GE refrigerator that has been in my wife's family since new. It has been stored in a barn for over 35 years. It works great but the paint, especially on the door needs repainted. Where will I find the data plate so that I can find the manual, parts, ect.... Also, do the letters on the door and logo bolt on or are they glued?

Post# 842466 , Reply# 138   9/23/2015 at 17:34 (757 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

goatfarmer's profile picture

They are bolted on, from the inside of the door. I just picked up a mid 50's Hotpoint, the data plate on it is on the front, behind the lower panel.

Post# 842469 , Reply# 139   9/23/2015 at 17:52 (757 days old) by captbrp (Mobile, AL)        

Thanks for the response. I found the data plate. I took off the lower plate and it was on the back wall. According to the date code it is from January 1947. I am excited to start the restoration of the outside. The interior is in perfect condition with the exception that one of the glass shelves did not make our recent move to Mobile unscathed. Easy to have new glass cut.

Post# 885264 , Reply# 140   6/15/2016 at 07:21 (491 days old) by Craig (Greenwood)        

I found this beauty..1952 g.e. on Craigslist for 200 bucks and got it painted for 400. I think it turned out pretty well.

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Post# 885621 , Reply# 141   6/16/2016 at 23:42 (489 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta Georgia )        

ovrphil's profile picture
Ferrari Red? My dad would like this color, too. So what is the decor of your kitchen, color-wise?

Post# 885636 , Reply# 142   6/17/2016 at 01:56 (489 days old) by appliguy (Oakton Va.)        
I like the paint job on your 1953 GE very much....

appliguy's profile picture
red is my favorite color.........and I have always liked the 1953 GE fridges because of their one year door handle design (the ’52 models used a horizontal door handle design not a vertical one like your fridge has)....PAT COFFEY

Post# 958288 , Reply# 143   9/20/2017 at 10:34 by itmike78 (Florida)        
1955 Hotpoint upright freezer

Hello, I have a 50th Anniversary Hotpoint upright freezer that I purchased a couple of months ago. Besides a small bit of rust it works perfectly. The only part missing is the cap/insert that goes in the door handle that has the Hotpoint logo. I believe it is made out of glass. I will attach a picture below. It's not the same type of handle but the Hotpoint emblem with the gold is the same insert that would go into mine. I need help finding this part or something similar that would fit that opening.

Also as I work to restore this what concerns should I have? Does the electric typically need to be updated? Do I need to be concerned with the insulation - health hazard? Which items would you all recommend that I definitely replace before using this in my home or garage? I want it to look good which I think will be the easier part, but I also want it to be safe.

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