Thread Number: 51103
Antique/vintage GE refrigerator extremely Rare!!! (Plainview )
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Post# 734477   2/11/2014 at 11:42 (2,207 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

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This listing is for an antique or vintage refrigerator from either the 30s or 40s.

This is actually in very good condition for its age and still runs.

There is obviously wear and tear but overall the condition is good for the age of the piece.

This is about 5 foot tall (w motor) and 5 foot wide.

The feet are a bit rusty but no where near rusted through. It is only surface rust.

The inside is very clean, and the shelves are here still.

Don't miss out on this amazing piece that actually still works, the motor still chills the inside as well as it did almost 90 years ago.

I am listing this for local pickup. If you want to have a delivery you will need to make arrangements for shipping on your own.

It is being stored at an outside storage facility so you will not have to move it up stairs or anything like that. You can pull a truck right up to the fridge and go!

I restored one of these once and it sold for $14,000 (and that was a bargain)

•Location: Plainview
•do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers

CLICK HERE TO GO TO ken's LINK on Longisland Craigslist

Post# 734478 , Reply# 1   2/11/2014 at 11:48 (2,207 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I'll bet most people would feel bad about buying this and cheating him out of the $14,000 or more he could gain by restoring and selling this one.

Post# 734479 , Reply# 2   2/11/2014 at 11:51 (2,207 days old) by rp2813 (Sannazay)        

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That's a modern unit on a rather old box, and it doesn't have all of its shelves.


That mention of $14K, which I find hard to believe, suggests the seller is looking to strike it rich, which isn't going to happen.

Post# 734785 , Reply# 3   2/12/2014 at 15:39 (2,206 days old) by whirlaway ()        
Thats a Flat-top

I have one out in the garage,a single door.The compressor has a fan that cools it,rather than the coils around the outside of the compressor,like a standard Monitor Top.They are later about 35 or 1936.Most likely is the original cabinet.Its just like the one I have but a 2dr,same hinges etc.I thing the cooling capacity was greater than the other GEs.They had several cabinet styles in 37 and up for that type of Monitor top or Flat-top.

Post# 734812 , Reply# 4   2/12/2014 at 18:14 (2,206 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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"That mention of $14K, which I find hard to believe, suggests the seller is looking to strike it rich, which isn't going to happen."

I'm thinking he'll take $13,750 - allowing you $250 to take care of stripping, repainting, replacing and rechroming shelves and addressing whatever cooling issues it's found to have.

I think that's generous, don't you? ;-)

Post# 734819 , Reply# 5   2/12/2014 at 18:50 (2,206 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        
Restoration bragging rights

ovrphil's profile picture
well, I restored this and got offers of over $140,000..and that was a bargain..."cuz that there is an RV...real special ".

That $14K price is the best humor, in seller asking prices.

This post was last edited 02/13/2014 at 00:13
Post# 735524 , Reply# 6   2/15/2014 at 19:06 (2,203 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
GE Monitor Top Refrigerator

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The fan cooled flat top style monitor top refrigerators did not come out till the 1940s and GE sold these drop-in flat top refrigeration units as a way to keep the older refrigerator cabinets in service when the orignal regeneration units developed problems.

This refrigerator that is for sale is diffidently and older cabinet with a replacement cooling unit on it. Unfortunately the flat-top regeneration units just do not have the cool vintage look as the orignal round units did, as a result I would say the refrigerator that is for sale is almost WORTHLESS, unless you had the missing shelves and the correct regeneration unit.

It could have some slight value as a way to keep beer cold in the garage, LOL.

Post# 735694 , Reply# 7   2/16/2014 at 18:40 (2,202 days old) by whirlaway ()        
Flat Tops Late 30s

The flat top monitor came out in late 1936 as a 1937 useing the old style cabinets,I was sure I had seen an ad in House&Garden some time ago,Ge didnt switch to freon 12 till after the war.This is according to Antique

Post# 735766 , Reply# 8   2/17/2014 at 02:41 (2,202 days old) by Travis ()        
I believe John is right

The flat top replacement top listed above would have been made in the 1940's.  The oldest of the monitor tops are the DR series (1927-1929).  These have the open coils and the tall vertical control. The D series (1930-1932) is similar, but has the short control. the CA series 1933-1934 is the odd beast.  It uses Methyl Formate as refrigerant.  The 1933 form A looks like a soup can, the 1934 form B looks like the CK series produced next.  The CK series 1935-1938 is the most well known of the bunch.


GE was very thrifty in making monitor tops.  It's difficult to date many of them, because many of them have hardware of different vintages on them.  The hinges on the above are likely 1929-30, the latches look to be 1930-32.  The larger monitor top cabinets always looked dated.  I was told by Mike Arnold that GE sold all they had period.  It's entirely possible that an older cabinet was sold with a newer top.


That being said, the cabinet above likely had a D series top on it, a D35.  The larger DR and D tops are the most the most difficult to keep running.  You have to keep in mind that this was in the first five years of GE refrigeration.  If you look in the GE manual for the CK series, it shows that they went from to R12 for one model and right back to SO2.  I asked Mike why.  He said that a monitor top runs louder on R12 than SO2 and customers complained.  I have never found a monitor top with that suffix letter.


The FEA flat top units were sold after 1942 to replace failed older tops.  The last of the round CK series tops were made in 1941 and 42, depending on their size.  The FEA's  work wonderfully, but lack style.  Most of these have a dark blue porcelain evaporator that was used during the war instead of stainless steel


GE did advertise a "flat top" unit as early as 1935, but that was a flat top refrigerator.  The round "monitor top" compressor was below the refrigeration compartment.

Post# 735789 , Reply# 9   2/17/2014 at 07:00 (2,202 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
GE Monitor Top Refrigerators

combo52's profile picture
John L.Hi Bobby and Travis. Thanks for all the good information Travis, you got me curious so I pulled out my old GE Domestic Product manual from GE that covers all Refrigerating Machines produced for home use into 1942. The flat-top machine had not been produced by the time this book was printed [ April 1942 ], it is also interesting to note that GE produced 38 different refrigerating unit designs and sizes not counting all the different voltages that were also produced.

They also sold over 104 different cabinets with GE refrigerating Machines and GE only made the first 30+ different cabinet models with the rest being built by another 1/2 dozen companies., The other interesting thing I learned is that basically GE did not go to R-12 on a wide scale till this newer flat unit came out in the 1940s for Monitor Top Refrigerators.

All cool information ,one thing I have found is that Antique Appliance. com is often not completely correct.

John L.

Post# 735895 , Reply# 10   2/17/2014 at 15:56 (2,201 days old) by Travis ()        



That's great to know.  I was reading a service manual designed for service on the CK series monitor tops.  The last date mentioned was 1942.  You could see they were experimenting with R12 in 1938 or 39.  I believe R12 was invented by Frigidaire.  It makes sense that GE wouldn't want to work with it.


I know there's a manual that covers each series of these.  I would bet there's a manual for the FEA, the flat top.



Post# 735960 , Reply# 11   2/17/2014 at 21:16 (2,201 days old) by whirlaway ()        

How did those round top Monitor tops actually cool the condensers,Ive seen acouple in person and they look like little aliens!With the condensers in a round ball Also was there a monitor top year that was trouble prone to cause a replacement for those square tops.I also noticed the light blue knobs and script that came out about 1937 on those and the round monitor tops of that era their knobs were the same color,do you suppose those square tops were more for commerical use! Rather than replacements? I just find it hard to imagine such a costly item on an old cabinet.While in the mid to late 30s other fridges were going for the streamlined look. Just curious!!!!

Post# 735989 , Reply# 12   2/18/2014 at 00:51 (2,201 days old) by Travis ()        

The condenser coil on a monitor top are the exposed tubing on the oldest ones or the circular bands on the newer, CA or CK ones.  The condenser is large enough that it doesn't need a fan to function.


The control knobs changed by the years.  The DR controls are the tall control, the D went to a short square control, the CA form A has the control mounted on the "throat" of the unit.  The CA form B and later CK controls were in the center of the condenser band.


The mindset back then was to reuse what you had and replace only what was needed.  I would assume that buying a replacement top for your existing cabinet was cheaper than buying a new refrigerator.  It might be that the flat top units got used in the used appliance market or simply during WWII when you were thankful that you had a refrigerator.  My grandma has a picture from about 1953-55 showing a mid 1930's monitor top in her apartment.  I am sure she was thrilled to not call the ice man!

Post# 736019 , Reply# 13   2/18/2014 at 07:24 (2,201 days old) by whirlaway ()        
The iceman!

I wonder how many kids looked like the iceman? Im talking about the one with the ball on top,it doesnt seem to get any circulation does it? How do you repair it? Thanks! For the info Bobby

Post# 736037 , Reply# 14   2/18/2014 at 09:01 (2,200 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Ball Top Monitor Top Refrigerators

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Hi Bobby, this rare model actually has the condenser all the way around the top of the cabinet, It was the only MT Refrigerator built this way.

I am sure buying a replacement flat-top refrigeration unit was a lot cheaper that buying a whole new refrigerator, GE also had various trade-in programs to help with the cost, as Travis mentioned right after the war appliances were very scarce. My parents married in 1945 and could not find a refrigerator and went several years using a real Ice-Box where you not only had to constantly put in ice blocks, but also had to keep emptying the water pan underneath to keep it fron overflowing and leaking into the apartment below, LOL.

These flat top units were also marked as a way to make your {old fashioned refrigerator look more modern } square and streamlined.

Post# 736172 , Reply# 15   2/18/2014 at 19:42 (2,200 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
Re: The Iceman

That reminds me of the song "The Man that Comes Around" by Tommy Tucker Time. I have the Columbia 78 from the 40's. Always thought it was a little suggestive.

It's on YouTube.

Post# 736203 , Reply# 16   2/18/2014 at 21:53 (2,200 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        
Similar to this

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That first posting reminded me of this - where they added a new compressor on top.

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

Post# 736383 , Reply# 17   2/19/2014 at 15:35 (2,199 days old) by Travis ()        



That's also a flat top on a late 20's-early 30's cabinet.  Someone has the cover on wrong.

Post# 736414 , Reply# 18   2/19/2014 at 18:26 (2,199 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

ovrphil's profile picture
Travis -whatever is on top looked akew to me, with my untrained eye. Thanks.

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