Thread Number: 31416
RARE!!! Frigidaire Fold Back Surface Units!!
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Post# 474074   11/8/2010 at 19:36 (2,873 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

Donald went to an auction Saturday and came home with these!!!

Post# 474075 , Reply# 1   11/8/2010 at 19:37 (2,873 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

I have wanted some of these for years!

Post# 474076 , Reply# 2   11/8/2010 at 19:39 (2,873 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
There are two of them,!!!

Each has an 8 and a 6 inch unit!

Post# 474077 , Reply# 3   11/8/2010 at 19:40 (2,873 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

Thermometer type indicator!

Post# 474078 , Reply# 4   11/8/2010 at 19:42 (2,873 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
The units!!!

Pull down individually,so you dont take up any more counter space than you need to.

Post# 474079 , Reply# 5   11/8/2010 at 19:43 (2,873 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

All I have to do figure out where to put them!!!

Post# 474083 , Reply# 6   11/8/2010 at 20:05 (2,873 days old) by joelippard (Hickory, NC)        

joelippard's profile picture
now that's a sight to behold! I remember seeing something like that as a very young child.

Post# 474084 , Reply# 7   11/8/2010 at 20:09 (2,873 days old) by 112561 (River Park, in Port St. Lucie, Florida)        

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I've only seen one set of those in person, in a long gone thrift store in a former 1920s ice cream plant. They did not look that good, and they couldn't have been but about twenty years old at the time. You sure are lucky!

Post# 474088 , Reply# 8   11/8/2010 at 20:40 (2,873 days old) by little-edie ()        
we had something very similar... these in toledo back in the 80s. we ended up redoing the kitchen and had nowhere to store the elements and threw them away! i can't believe i'm even admitting this. it haunted me back then and back then, i was still kinda stupid, but knew deep down that i shoulda kept them. i do have the instruction book that came with them, SOMEPLACE, but know not where it is.

these are gorgeous....and i love the old frigidaire crown. mine were not this brand.

Post# 474095 , Reply# 9   11/8/2010 at 21:01 (2,873 days old) by kevin313 (Detroit, Michigan)        

kevin313's profile picture
These are so cool!! I've seen them a couple of times before, but yours look to be in the very best condition. What an interesting idea of using counterspace when not cooking - I'm sure they came with built in wall oven, as well. And I love those Frigidaire wide-tube coils of that era. Find a place to put these and fire these babies up!!

Post# 474102 , Reply# 10   11/8/2010 at 21:25 (2,873 days old) by washernoob ()        

Wow That is one cool piece! It looks fabulous too! What a find for sure!

Were these freestanding units, or where they built into a wall? Looks like you could go either way!

Post# 474113 , Reply# 11   11/8/2010 at 21:51 (2,873 days old) by dynaflow (rockingham nc)        
and why couldnt

dynaflow's profile picture
my husbear bring me something home like these

Post# 474126 , Reply# 12   11/8/2010 at 22:04 (2,873 days old) by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        

Those are sooooo cool!! I bet they look fantastic when installed :-) Pics please!


Post# 474136 , Reply# 13   11/8/2010 at 22:27 (2,873 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture
congratulations Hans. These have the old Frigidaire emblem on them, not the Crown F. I'd say that makes them like 1955 to 1956 at the latest.

Post# 474138 , Reply# 14   11/8/2010 at 23:13 (2,873 days old) by spookiness (Alexandria VA)        
Saw them once

Kentuck Knob, a Frank Lloyd Wright house not far from Fallingwater has these. Thats the only place I'd ever seen them, and I thought they were so cool (even though I'm not a fan of cooking with electric!)

Post# 474163 , Reply# 15   11/9/2010 at 07:29 (2,873 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

These were in the home of one of my classmates when I lived in Watertown, SD. This would have been 1964-67. They also had a TOL three-speed GE washer, which always impressed me.

Reflecting back on these burner units many years later, (having moved from Watertown in mid-'67 upon completion of the 2nd grade) I often wondered if I had somehow conjured them up in my mind, as I'd never seen them anywhere ever again.

And here's proof of their existence! Congratulations on your big, rare score. And they appear to be in great shape, too.

Post# 474179 , Reply# 16   11/9/2010 at 11:12 (2,872 days old) by laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        

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FRIGIDAIRE bothers to build in more help.

Post# 474181 , Reply# 17   11/9/2010 at 11:24 (2,872 days old) by luxflairguy (Wilmington NC)        

Here's a couple scans of the original sales brochure. It's dated 6/55. Greg

Post# 474182 , Reply# 18   11/9/2010 at 11:25 (2,872 days old) by luxflairguy (Wilmington NC)        

next page

Post# 474183 , Reply# 19   11/9/2010 at 11:26 (2,872 days old) by luxflairguy (Wilmington NC)        

last page

Post# 474252 , Reply# 20   11/9/2010 at 19:22 (2,872 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Those are the first of that design, a real score. I have the French door wall oven as pictured and a stainless steel cooktop of the mid 50s with speed heat and heat minder units at the front and two 5 heat units at the back, both of the finest junque shop provenance. I used them to prepare a Thanksgiving banquet in the early 80s. Years ago John found the single, 4 unit version with two fold down sections with two controls at either end in an inner city DC thrift store. He carried it out on his shoulder and some young dude remarked that it must be one hell of a boom box. One pair of units had the regular infinite control. The other pair consisted of a Speed heat and a Heat Minder unit.

Not that you are lacking for cooking facilities, but one of these with a dryer cord attached makes an excellent portable 220 volt cooktop, ready to plug into a dryer outlet. That 8" element would hold a 16 qt pressure canner easily and would have the power to get up a head of steam pronto.

I'm so happy for you.

Post# 474260 , Reply# 21   11/9/2010 at 19:50 (2,872 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
Nice find

Had no idea these were available so early - introduced the same year as me, 1955! Very sleek and modern; the very first of the "Sheer Look". Does anyone know how long Frigidaire made this type unit?

Post# 474262 , Reply# 22   11/9/2010 at 19:59 (2,872 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture
those are ultra cool. You'd think they'd still be marketable today the way they save some counter space.

Post# 474318 , Reply# 23   11/10/2010 at 06:16 (2,872 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Properly venting a pair of these requires either a pair of 30" hoods or a custom system which might not be in their favor. On the plus side, since the surface units would not extend as far to the front as they do in a traditional 4 unit cooktop, the performance of the ventilation system might be better, but you would be using twice the exhaust capacity if you were venting both pairs. That could pull a good deal of heated or cooled air outside.

Post# 474426 , Reply# 24   11/10/2010 at 20:35 (2,871 days old) by customline (pennsylvania)        

I use to see these on Fleabay now and then. That's so cool you scored a pair. Congrats.

Post# 474440 , Reply# 25   11/11/2010 at 01:07 (2,871 days old) by appliguy (Oakton Va.)        
Here are a set in Bridgewater New Jersey

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from 1959 supposedly....they are asking $150 but say you can make an offer

CLICK HERE TO GO TO appliguy's LINK on Newjersey Craigslist

Post# 474592 , Reply# 26   11/12/2010 at 06:18 (2,870 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Something else came to mind (it takes a while). While Frigidaire's literature does not give the height above the counter for the surface units in cooking position, they are, of necessity, higher than the countertop. While that is not something that most men would find objectionable, it is a consideration for shorter women who might find that the extra height under a pan would make constant stirring more tiring and looking inside an 8 quart or larger utensil difficult to do. I guess this would be another example of Frigidaire's more male-influenced design.

Post# 474630 , Reply# 27   11/12/2010 at 12:00 (2,869 days old) by retropia ()        

If doing a dream kitchen with these, I'd consider wall-mounting them so that when they were open, the burners would be at counter-height. Then I'd want granite counters on either side, so you have a place to set hot pots and pans. (Otherwise, with laminate counters you'd need trivets handy.)

It looks like there is a row of ventilation holes along the top back edge, visible when the burners are folded down. If you had an exhaust fan mounted somewhere nearby, like maybe in the basement, you could duct it to these units to exhaust cooking fumes, sort of a similar concept to JennAir cooktops that have a pop-up exhaust duct.

Post# 474687 , Reply# 28   11/12/2010 at 20:40 (2,869 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

Are not made so you can wall mount them, they have to have a flat surface to rest on when they are opened, the higher than usual cooking platform wouldnt bother me, but you could use a lower counter for someone who was shorter.

Post# 474840 , Reply# 29   11/13/2010 at 12:43 (2,868 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

You really don't want to be pulling cooking exhaust through anything not designed to handle it.

Post# 474862 , Reply# 30   11/13/2010 at 14:54 (2,868 days old) by Kittysunshine ()        
Help please

I have 2 of these units as well and am having a hard time finding out where to sell them. If anyone has any ideas of a good way to go about that please let me know!

Post# 475224 , Reply# 31   11/15/2010 at 12:50 (2,866 days old) by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        

Wow... and I thought I'd seen everything in 1950s-60s appliances. Until I saw this thread, I had no idea that any such a thing ever existed.

Seems odd that the "High" position is out of sequence with the others, in terms of ordering by heat. I suppose that had something to do with the switches that were used, but I can't imagine what.

As I make it, you'd need a 20A circuit for one of these. If you had both burners on high, it'd be right on the edge for a 15A circuit at 230V, but back then a lot of utilities supplied houses at closer to 220. If you had two of these plus the oven, then you're talking about some fancy wiring by the standards of that day. Of course, back then, a lot of electricians would just pull one 50A circuit and attach everything to that.

Post# 475233 , Reply# 32   11/15/2010 at 13:13 (2,866 days old) by luxflairguy (Wilmington NC)        

To answer why "High" was out of sequence is in almost every Frigidaire instruction manual is the saying that you start on "High" and finish on "Simmer"
To quote: "Because most surface cooking is started on "HIGH" and finished on "SIMMER", these two heats have been placed next to each other for greater convenience." From a 1956 manual. Greg

Post# 479099 , Reply# 33   12/3/2010 at 00:14 (2,849 days old) by bd ()        
Unit For Sale

We have a mint condition of this exact unit. Can someone help me to find a buyer? We are in Northern CA. How much should we charge?

Thanks for your help!

Post# 479126 , Reply# 34   12/3/2010 at 03:44 (2,849 days old) by frontaloadotmy (the cool gay realm)        
List them on Ebay , bd

and hope for the best!
What part of Northern Ca are you in?

Post# 777219 , Reply# 35   8/13/2014 at 22:45 (1,499 days old) by cherilync ()        
RBW84 foldback surface unit

Looking for an RBW84 Frigidaire foldback surface unit to purchase Pic attached

Post# 778181 , Reply# 36   8/19/2014 at 10:57 (1,493 days old) by brib68 (Central Connecticut)        
I remember these!

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My grandparents had a lake cottage (actually, pretty nice for a 'cottage', but def only designed for a summer vacation home) in NW Indiana. The kitchen was basically a 1-sided galley. The stove was a single unit (2 burners) of these. I think they may have been from the early-to-mid 60s. *IF* my memory serves (a bit doubtful) the cabinet may have been a combination of stainless and brown-painted, or stainless and woodgrain. I also think the indicator dial was a little different--more radio-tuning dial in appearance, with the "window" in the middle rather than the sides. Again...memory is tricky after so many years (They sold the cottage in the early 80s.) The oven was definitely newer than the French Door model. It was a brown wall oven that was built into the opposite wall, in a space tucked under the staircase that was on the other side of the wall. The fridge was white and small and squared. and the freezer was not a separate door. I don't remember the brand, I just remember the treat of having a variety of flavors of Shasta cans to choose from--not like boring ol' home! The other appliances were an enormous International Harvester deep freeze (which fascinated me because my Dad had an IH Scout), and an ancient, battleship gray GE revolving-top vacuum.

Post# 801571 , Reply# 37   12/30/2014 at 15:14 (1,360 days old) by jjr-mrr68 ()        
Frigidaire RBW-84 Fold Back Surface Unit Cooktop

I have this and use it on a daily basis. I believe it was installed in 1957. (We are the second owner of the house.) It still works very well, but the drip pans and trim rings are showing their age. I have replaced two of the drip pans and trim rings twice, but I need replacements again. I also have the wall oven pictured and use it frequently, also. The temperature control is not real accurate so I use an in-oven thermometer which helps immensely. Does anyone know where I can get replacement drip pans and trim rings. The ones I am using were purchased locally many years ago and are not exactly the right fit. Also does anyone "rebuild or refurbish" these appliances. They are of a built in nature and finding replacements that fit in the same spot is about impossible for my custom built kitchen. Thanks for any help you can give.

Post# 801573 , Reply# 38   12/30/2014 at 15:29 (1,360 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        
I'd Be Interested....

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....To hear from owners of these units regarding their cleanability. Every time I see these things, I have a vision of fried chicken or bacon spatters covering every exposed atom of their surface, with lots of time, lots of Job-like patience and a powerful degreaser needed to get all their little nooks and crannies back up to snuff.

Anyone have any war stories - uh, owner's lore?

Post# 801664 , Reply# 39   12/31/2014 at 04:37 (1,360 days old) by chachp (Conway, AR)        
I think of this too...

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...every time I see a pristine Flair range with the shiny clean interior.  All I think to my self is one roast or pan of chicken would cause a terrible mess to clean up.  How did people clean these?  I hadn't thought about it for these fold down burners but you're right.  Wouldn't they be a pain to keep clean?

Post# 822499 , Reply# 40   5/7/2015 at 21:23 (1,232 days old) by Cbg ()        
Wall oven

I just bought a house with the Frigidaire fold-back surface units and two of the Imperial wall ovens as shown in the vintage brochure further up in this thread. The previous home owners all faithfully saved the original 1955 brochures for this so it was fun to discover that I'm now cooking on equipment that is as old as I am! So far everything seems to work, and works as well as the newer model ceramic top range in my old house. I like being able to fold down the burners and only take as much counter space as I have to.

My only problem is that one of the ovens is missing its rack. I'm wondering if anyone here might be able to suggest someplace to look for a replacement rack. I already looked on ebay and they had a very similar one but it isn't exactly the right one. Any suggestions would be welcome!

Post# 822519 , Reply# 41   5/8/2015 at 05:50 (1,232 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I think

The rack for a standard Frigidaire range oven will fit.

Post# 985846 , Reply# 42   3/8/2018 at 15:13 (196 days old) by Uabill (Geneva)        
Brand New IN THE BOX RV-92 UNIT!!!

Yes, you read that correctly. Brand new unit. Has sat on a shelf in a hardware store that used to sell appliances. If anyone is interested in making a real offer to purchase please email us at

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