Thread Number: 70420  /  Tag: Refrigerators
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Post# 933395   4/19/2017 at 16:58 (429 days old) by fridgenut (Cape Girardeau, MO)        

Hi there,

My name is Raymond and I have an unhealthy addiction to antique appliances. Obviously I have come to the wrong place if I want to lessen my addiction. I just love these old appliances too much to let them go though. They work so well that I have ended up loving to use them more with every passing day. I always love to learn something new about how an old appliance works. I am reasonably well versed in repairing fans, vacuums, and radios (radios not as much but at least I know what not to do). I am more versed than others when it comes to refrigerators though. I love antique refrigerators. Somehow after only being a member for a year I have become an admin on the monitor top forum which you can find here:
Not a plug or anything, I just thought that some people here might find the forum interesting. I'm sure that quite a few of you have already heard about it. We have a small but vibrant community of users who are great at diagnosing and repairing antique refrigerators. I am always amazed at the level of ingenuity that the members come up with to fix and preserve these timeless classics. Before you start reading I have to warn you...I am long winded and I am about to talk about my appliances. Grab a coffee from your 1910 Universal percolator before you begin reading (I know I would).

Here is just a taste of what I currently have:
GE Vortalex (in terrible shape, looks like it was used as a boat anchor but it still works on one speed)
Older GE from 1930s? Not sure about this one. It needs bearing work but it runs fine.
1950s GE Quiet Fan. Works well except for the fact that it bounces across the floor due to a blade that I can't balance to save my life.
1960s Silex handy breeze, works very well.
1960s Coronado desk fan, tiny little guy that packs a punch. Was my grandfathers that he got when he worked at Gamble's.
1960s Superior Electric fan, nothing special except for the fact that it was made in Cape Girardeau, MO which is where I live and is my home town!

1930s Regina, beat to hell and back. Bag is nice, use it as a display piece.
1940s Westinghouse. Works great after a motor clean up and lube. Replaced carbon motor brushes.
1961 Kirby model 561, got at an estate sale. The outlet was clogged with orange shag carpet fibers! Use weekly on my rugs.
1961 Electrolux model G, god this thing is nice. Got it for free from a member of the vacuum land forum! Use it weekly to clean the bare floors. So quiet.

Well, just one. A 1936 GE with a deep well cooker. In immaculate original shape. It even has the instruction manual to go with it.

Jukebox? Jukebox:
1965 Seeburg Discotheque' which works very well. Need to oil it and make a few adjustments. Repaired the auto speed control unit with new capacitors.
I also have tons of records and a few reel to reel tapes. My reel to reel shot sparks at me last time so I need to fix that...

Now we get to my real obsession, antique refrigerators. The newest model I own is a 1965 Magic Chef mini fridge with a piece of formica glued to the top. I had to replace the thermostat and "repair" the original door seal with tape and cardboard. Don't worry, I don't treat my other fridges this poorly.

The oldest model I have is the only one that doesn't work, yet. A 1928 GE DRA monitor top. This is a very cute and special unit. Notice the picture of it with my cat perched on top. One day I will fix a line leak and get it working again.

My current pride and joy is a 1931 GE DR-1 that I recently got working again after having lived a very hard life. It has been blasted and painted and is now my current beer fridge. Although one of the roommates keeps stealing my beer, I may just have to fire up another fridge in my room instead! Notice the before and after photos. This fridge also suffered from a restricted float valve that I coaxed back to life with a heat gun.

I also fixed a 1933 GE model CA monitor top. It had a case of bad gas. Once I burped it, it started working just fine. A common problem with methyl formate filled fridges. Hint, the CA model was the only fridge to ever use methyl formate. This particular fridge has its original bill of sale and warranty papers!

Next up, a 1935 GE flat top that I just re-wired last night. I'm going to give it a bath today. It is a lovely shade of jade that somebody painted it with at some point in its life. Of course it fired right up without a problem because it has the same mechanism as the venerable CK monitor top, just down bellow. Which leads me to..

My 1936 GE CK monitor top on an older DR cabinet. Oddly enough I can't find a picture of it. It is in decent shape with a bit of rust on the mechanism. It works great. I use it as a secondary fridge. Freezes ice in an hour flat. I completely rewired it and put in a new relay for reliability.

I also have a 1936 GE flat top which is very similar to the '35 I just mentioned but it has the same badge as my stove! I repainted it (it looks terrible) and rewired it (hasn't shocked me yet). It will go next to my stove once I have my own place and have properly repainted it. Here is a picture before the paint.

Next up is a 1936 Frigidaire. This thing is absolutely gorgeous. All I've done is replace the door seal. Almost all of them need that. The wiring is still in fantastic shape. It runs great. A true survivor.

I also have one Westinghouse (after I sold a '55 to a use as his main fridge). The one I have left is a 1937 model. Re-wired it and it works great. Quickest cooling fridge that I have. Within one minute the evaporator is frosty. Big, burly compressor and a huge fan. Original door seal to boot!

Next up is a 193? Coldspot. I don't know the exact year. I re-wired it and it does work and cool. It needs a new door seal and some work done to the handle and latch however. Very neat unit.

I have one more pre-war model. A 1941 Frigidaire cold wall. This fridge actually has evaporator coils in the walls of the interior. It works great. It almost died though. It started leaking oil out of one of the compressor electrical terminals. I was able to fix it with an add on rubber seal kit. Now it works great.

I also have two FEA type monitor top units with no cabinets. These were made as replacement units for broken monitor top units and were never sold as a new fridge. They were both made during the war around 1943 and they have enameled steel evaporators instead of stainless and cloth insulation instead of rubber due to war rationing.

Do I have a freezer? Of course! I constantly use a 1949 GE chest freezer that works great. It almost burnt my house down though due to bad wiring. Let that be a lesson to you all, never trust crusty old wiring. I completely rewired it and have since not had to run into the laundry room with shampoo in my hair butt naked while smoke fills the room.

But which fridge is your main fridge? A 1957 Norge "Customatic" of course. After having much dificulty getting ANY thermostat to work...I broke down and installed a digital thermostat with adjustable controls and haven't looked back. It works great, the fridge is happy, my roommates are happy. Oh, and it is pink on the inside. Yay pink!

God, sorry for the long laundry list of stuff. I figured that some of you may appreciate it. Don't worry, I didn't join this site for nothing. What good would all of these fridges be without a washer, dryer, or dishwasher to match? I'll start questioning your bulging brains about those soon, as I am clueless about these strange appliances. I am excited to become a part of this community. My goal is to one day have a house set in the 1930s. Someday. For now I am just content with working on and fixing these lovely old appliances. I am happy to answer any questions about fridges that you may have, I love to help people out. I hope that I can start to learn about washers, dryers, dishwashers and get right in there with the rest of you. I have to admit though, I'm always going to be partial to antique fridges.

I have a YouTube channel where I have already posted a few videos covering antique refrigerators to. Not great video quality but that is soon changing. I am currently working on a video that will cover the history of GE refrigeration up to the 50s. Anyone wanting to learn about monitor tops and their history would get a kick out of this video. Should be coming in the next few months. Here is a link to my channel:
Here is a link to a video I made that covers a huge collection from a friend of mine:

Maybe one day I can find a guy who appreciates this stuff as much as I do...
What?! You didn't think I was gay? How in the hell could I not be? I have 15 refrigerators for Christ's sake!

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Post# 933398 , Reply# 1   4/19/2017 at 17:10 (429 days old) by RevvinKevin (So. Cal.)        

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Welcome to AW Raymond!  You're right, you came to the wrong place.... but you'll love it here! laughing laughing laughing 



Post# 933400 , Reply# 2   4/19/2017 at 17:33 (429 days old) by Michaelman2 (Atlanta, GA)        
Welcome Raymond

You will have a good deal of fun on this site given your extensive interest in appliances. The archives are chock full of great information, restoration projects, obscure rarely seen appliances, tips for repairs, extensive knowledge of various appliances and subjects.



Post# 933411 , Reply# 3   4/19/2017 at 18:28 (429 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
A heartfelt welcome to Automatic Washer Raymond!

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You name it, we got it. Not only are there plenty of threads of just about anything in the appliance world, we have quite a few knowledgeable, helpful members as well.  And as shocking as it may sound, honey, you've reached gay central. 


Looking forward to see more of your collection. Once again, bienvenido, bienvenue, benvenuto, willkommen, welkom!




PS, you may like my series of vintage appliance advertisements:

Post# 933412 , Reply# 4   4/19/2017 at 18:41 (429 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
Welcome, Raymond

Looks like you have a varried and interesting collection.

I have a Frigidaire like you show in pic. 12. What model is it? Mine is a 1947 model DI-7. It worked good the last time it was plugged in.

All are welcome here - members include gay, bi and straigh, both male and female. And we have a wide variety of ages - some young, some not.

Post# 933415 , Reply# 5   4/19/2017 at 18:56 (429 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        
Welcome Raymond

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You came to the "right" place. There's another fridge guy here in the forum that is quite knowledgeable with these. Travis where are you?
Here mine.. I just have the one!

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Post# 933423 , Reply# 6   4/19/2017 at 19:07 (429 days old) by Travis ()        



Welcome.  There are a lot of good people here and a wealth of knowledge.


We'll have to help you add to your collection.  Check out the purple section for bad influences!



Post# 933510 , Reply# 7   4/20/2017 at 09:51 (428 days old) by fridgenut (Cape Girardeau, MO)        
Wow! Thank you all for the warm welcome!

Thanks is warranted for all of you who have given me a warm welcome. I do appreciate it. I can't believe that I forgot one of my fans! It is the best of all. It is a 30s Emerson Electric that is hands down the best fan I have ever used. It is a tabletop model and yet it puts out enough air on low to be of no use unless you are 5 feet away! I think I will eventually mount it on a wall in my 30s kitchen, if and when that ever happens. Now to responses!

Thank you for confirming my fears of ending up in the wrong place. I am already enjoying it.

I'm going to have to start looking at the archives. Sounds like there are lots of posts that would be of great interest to me.

Those old ads that you posted are really neat. I love seeing old stuff like that. It seems like the old advertisements actually gave you useful information about the product at hand. I figured that I had stepped into a gay friendly area due to the subject matter. As one of my fridge friends said though, "My wife is getting worried since I am collecting these fridges. It seems to be a gay hobby!" Of course in reality there is no such thing, I'm glad that there is a vibrant community here from every walk of life.

Circle W,

Thank you for the kind words. My Frigidaire is a model CPD-9-41. That breaks down to "C" coldwall, "P" Porcelain exterior, "D" model range (like yours), 9 cubic feet and manufacture year of 1941. I would imagine that your fridge is not a coldwall model since it doesn't have the "C" but I am not sure. Does your plastic piece behind the handle say "coldwall"? I'm sure yours still works fine. However, just be cautious when using it and make sure to look for an oil leak coming from the electrical terminals. Apparently several makes used these style of terminals that are prone to leaking as they age. Mine started leaking after a long, hard day of running while making some desserts in the freezer. If it starts leaking oil stop the compressor immediately. It may leak a bit more oil as you wait to fix it but you will have a much better chance of saving the oil thats left and the refrigerant inside. Mine uses R114 which is a very low pressure refrigerant. I'm not sure when Frigidaire switched to R12. I think that a major reason why mine is still working is because R114 is close to atmospheric pressure around 45 degrees and not much higher at room temperature.

Your FEA and DR cabinet looks really nice. A very good example. Those are so reliable and trouble free. The only maintenance required is to oil the fan once a year with a couple drops of 20 weight non detergent oil, oh and clean the condenser coil. Those fans run so beautifully it really is nice to keep them original. It is a two phase fan which grabs one leg of its power from the compressor start terminal as the compressor is running and the other leg from the wall. Of course you might have already known that. I also like your kitchen setup. Very nice and neat.

Glad to hear there is another fridge nut on here. You just had to mention the purple section. I just glanced at it for a split second and saw something that interests me. I'm going to need a better job!

Post# 933525 , Reply# 8   4/20/2017 at 12:10 (428 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Welcome Raymond!

Well, it's only unhealthy if they have displaced you in your abode, or attract bugs, etc., or you electrocute yourself.
Many of us are gay, so what. I don't smoke, drink, and it's way cheaper than cocaine, gambling, etc.
Everybody needs a distraction or a vice.
Then again, an appliance addicts anonymous could be fun.

Post# 933538 , Reply# 9   4/20/2017 at 13:27 (428 days old) by fridgenut (Cape Girardeau, MO)        
That's funny

Thank you Vacerator, your comment made me smile. I do drink but you are right about saving money on this addiction vs. an actual unhealthy addiction. I need to quit drinking so much beer so that my gut will whither away! I would like to go to "AA" meeting as well. Something tells me that it would quickly become a swap meet!

Post# 933571 , Reply# 10   4/20/2017 at 17:17 (428 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
My belly

is from cooking and eating. I'm working on it. Post middle age spread. I was never out of shape until after I retired. Then I went back to work for two years and lost too much weight because it was a high stress job. Now I've gained it all back.
I helped care for my sick parents and I stress ate.
I know I have no excuse. I belong to LA Fitness. It's just not as enjoyable as it used to be.

Post# 933573 , Reply# 11   4/20/2017 at 17:19 (428 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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You should make the trip up to St Louis, and meet Travis. He has a special place for wayward refrigerators, I've lost count as to the total number that reside there. And knows his schtuff about Monitors.

Post# 933578 , Reply# 12   4/20/2017 at 18:01 (428 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Welcome Raymond!

Here is a You Tube from 1933 with Bette Davis doing a promotional film for General Electric. She does a mini demo of a GE in counter dishwasher. I would love to see one of these in action.

As far an automatic washer of close to that vintage, I beleive that Bendix did make some of the early style FL's that didn't have to be bolted down, but they are probably from the early 40's or post WW2. I had a babysitter in th mid 50's and she had one like this. It fascinated me! It was on her backporch and there were RR tracks behind her back fence. When the trains would go by and the Bendix was washing sometimes the door would spontaneously come open from the vibration of the train. She used Cheer and the little hole on top where the detergent went was always open and there was a permanent crust of Cheer all around it.


This post was last edited 04/20/2017 at 18:39
Post# 933595 , Reply# 13   4/20/2017 at 19:39 (428 days old) by spacepig (Floridas Emerald Coast)        
Welcome Raymond!

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I am fairly new to the site, and have already found a wealth of information. Jeannine

Post# 933635 , Reply# 14   4/21/2017 at 01:07 (427 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

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How a pic of your GE stove!

Post# 933730 , Reply# 15   4/21/2017 at 14:46 (427 days old) by fridgenut (Cape Girardeau, MO)        
Wow, this thread is still going!


I totally understand the stress eating. I'm sorry that you had to take care of your sick parents. My excuse is a lousy job. At least most days I have the afternoon free to get on sites like this and mess around!


Do you honestly think that I haven't visited Travis multiple times lol? He only lives 2 hours north from where I live. The video that I posted at the top of this thread was taken from his collection and his friend's collection. I mean, I didn't just happen to collect so many fridges in the span of a year by chance. I am going up there Sunday to hopefully help Travis move the pink bottom freezer GE from the early 60s. It is going to go to my Aunt who is building a new house, that is if the deal works out! Almost all of my knowledge either has come from Travis or the forum I am an admin on. Truly helpful people.


I have seen that video before! Very neat clip. I may just have to work in a few seconds of it when I make the video that is going to cover the history of GE refrigeration. Lovely CA form A in that scene.
That is also a neat story about your babysitters washer. I wonder why she kept it on the back porch? After a few times of the door flying open I would have figured out a way to keep it shut. I bet washing clothes in the cold of winter or the heat of the summer was super fun for her...


Couldn't have said it better myself. This site IS a wealth of information. Simply amazing.


I can get a picture of the stove but it won't do it any justice. Unfortunately it is in a dark and shabby shed without its legs. I am waiting for my own place to put it into use. It really is gorgeous. Travis sold it to me. I am so lucky to have found it and a fridge that matches it to boot!

Post# 934068 , Reply# 16   4/23/2017 at 14:52 (425 days old) by countryford (Phoenix, AZ)        

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Welcome to this wonderful group of guys. I'm sure you will fit right in.

I started collecting antique radios at the age of 12. It slowly evolved into TV sets then into appliances. I have not only washers and dryers but also some refrigerators. Since you are a "fridgenut" here are my refrigerators I currently own.
1949 Hotpoint(two door unit, originally white but now pink)
1954 G.E (two door unit currently in white)
1958 Revco (Separate fridge and freezer, built in units in stainless steel)
1965 G.E. Americana (in coppertone brown)

I've had several others that I've let go as well.

I see you are in Cape Girardeau, MO. I have family just north of you in Festus.

Anyways, again welcome to this group and don't be shy!

Post# 934082 , Reply# 17   4/23/2017 at 16:09 (425 days old) by fridgenut (Cape Girardeau, MO)        

That is a very impressive list of fridges you have there. Very cool. I especially like the Americana line and the Revco units.

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