Thread Number: 55464
Strange / obscure fridge files...RCA. Who knew?
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Post# 778614   8/22/2014 at 07:41 (2,219 days old) by funktionalart (Rison, AR)        

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Someone here probably knew...but I sure didn't. RCA was making fridges in the 70s and 80s? At first glance, I thought it was a GE....the only giveaway was the factory label inside the door.

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Post# 778617 , Reply# 1   8/22/2014 at 07:59 (2,219 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
These weren't classic RCA/Whirlpools...

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?? Thought those went away in the mid-'60s, so one assumes it was just a badge engineering job, the trademark/logo bought and plastered onto fridges made by someone like WCI or? ... anyone know?

Post# 778619 , Reply# 2   8/22/2014 at 08:03 (2,219 days old) by funktionalart (Rison, AR)        

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If I DO ever find a 60s RCA Whirlpool refrigerator...I will hunt it down and buy it. This thing I posted has got to be a GE sold thru RCA. The interior even looks the same not to mention the ice/water on door design and trim.

Post# 778627 , Reply# 3   8/22/2014 at 08:10 (2,219 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
It does look like GE...

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in many ways.

Saw a white RCA/Whirlpool combination fridge about 14 cu ft. approx 1960 online a few months ago, can't recall where though! Looked nice and it wasn't expensive. Will post here any I see.

Post# 778632 , Reply# 4   8/22/2014 at 08:16 (2,219 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        
Another one

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If you're just looking for black....this won't be of interest:

RCA Side by side fridge great condition - $150 (frayser)

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Post# 778634 , Reply# 5   8/22/2014 at 08:18 (2,219 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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This is a GE, through and through.  After GE gobbled up RCA in the mid-80's, GE whored out the RCA name on products they should not have - ranges and fridges being one of them.



Post# 778636 , Reply# 6   8/22/2014 at 08:19 (2,219 days old) by funktionalart (Rison, AR)        

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I'm not really looking for one, but had to pause on the earlier ad because of that RCA label. Looking at this memphis CL listing I'm now SURE these are GE models for RCA. Gotta be. That looks like the reintroduced Americana GE did in the 80s.

Post# 778640 , Reply# 7   8/22/2014 at 08:26 (2,219 days old) by funktionalart (Rison, AR)        
Ben, thanks--

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Looks like we posted at the same time! Glad someone clarified the GE/RCA connection....thought it must be so.


Post# 778641 , Reply# 8   8/22/2014 at 08:27 (2,219 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

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I didn't know RCA made refrigerators, just to admit ignorance here. Do any collectors have these as daily drivers ...what's the good and bad about RCA (not rebadged GE) refrigerators?

Post# 778648 , Reply# 9   8/22/2014 at 08:56 (2,219 days old) by moparguy (Virginia)        
RCA Whirlpool fridges, circa 1957-60

My parents bought an RCA Whirlpool top freezer refrigerator in 1960... fairly basic, non-self defrost fridge that served them well through the 1980s, when it became a basement fridge for several years after that. I recently bought a 1957/58 RCA Whirlpool fridge, with the help of Anthony in Detroit, and which I had posted in a thread about six months ago. This one is a top of the line beauty! The photo is of the "new" fridge that I have; I don't know if I have any photos of the 1960 fridge.

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Post# 778650 , Reply# 10   8/22/2014 at 09:03 (2,219 days old) by funktionalart (Rison, AR)        
Fab! My faves next to my '63

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Frigidaire Custom Imperial! Those guys knew how to put some visual punch into their products.

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Post# 778653 , Reply# 11   8/22/2014 at 09:09 (2,219 days old) by moparguy (Virginia)        

That's a beautiful Frigidaire... beautiful design, but probably my favorite design element in those is the color strip with the handles, the blue and aqua insert is just beautiful design!

Post# 778673 , Reply# 12   8/22/2014 at 12:29 (2,219 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

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Oh yeah, baby, those are both lookers, I appreciate the design of both of these. I love the restrained design of the Frigidaire, Allen - but I am equally attracted to the early 60's look there on the RCA Whirlpool, which reminds me of some of the cars of the time. Thanks for posting, guys.

Post# 778761 , Reply# 13   8/22/2014 at 17:54 (2,218 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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I had an RCA like that SxS about 2 years ago. Worked fine, but the display kept showing "Defrost Problem"., even though defrost worked perfect. 

Post# 778771 , Reply# 14   8/22/2014 at 19:38 (2,218 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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"GE whored out the RCA name on products they should not have"

I think "whoring" is a pretty dignified word for what was going on at GE/RCA during the Jack Welch years.

My dad spent most of his career with RCA's service division, and had intended to finish it there. After a few years of Welch's "initiatives," he became so disgusted he took retirement - at quite the little financial drubbing - at 62. Just couldn't stomach it any more.

Post# 778801 , Reply# 15   8/22/2014 at 21:26 (2,218 days old) by carmine (Detroit)        

I'm sure others here know this, or can correct me; but I believe the only reason for the RCA/Whirlpool branding was to give a measure of familiarity/trust to the then-new Whirlpool brand (which previously/concurrently) built mostly Kenmore-branded appliances.

I think they kicked RCA a few bucks until they gained acceptance and then ended the arrangement.

Very different world than today, when people will buy a $3000 fridge branded "☼◘" if it's $10 cheaper.

Post# 778808 , Reply# 16   8/22/2014 at 21:41 (2,218 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
The RCA name

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was clearly appended to the Whirlpool name to lend credibility, as RCA was without doubtly THE leading name in radio, TV, and essentially anything electronic in the 1930s to '60s era, advanced satallite and radio telemetry included.

Oddly they never excelled in truly high quality home audio, the one area that one might have expected.

Post# 778857 , Reply# 17   8/23/2014 at 06:32 (2,218 days old) by moparguy (Virginia)        
Who bought who?

I had thought that RCA bought Estate (ranges), then branded them as RCA Estate ranges, and then bought Servel and/or Seeger, to get into refrigerators. If that was the case, wasn't it RCA getting into the appliance business through acquisitions and then giving its name to its new brand, which initially were rebranded existing models previously branded under the previous company names?

Post# 778881 , Reply# 18   8/23/2014 at 09:19 (2,218 days old) by A440 ()        

I remember seeing the RCA logo into middle 2000 on GE Appliances. I never saw it on "Big Box" store appliances. I would however see it on "Mom & Pop" store GE's. I am guessing it was exclusive for the M&P stores.

Post# 779192 , Reply# 19   8/24/2014 at 21:45 (2,216 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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In Canada, there were still some Whirlpool clone appliances that were branded RCA in the mid-seventies. But later, just like in the US, they were GE clones. There were also RCA dishwashers that were Westinghouse but I never got how that happened. My aunt had an RCA dishwasher that looked just like an early/mid seventies Whirlpool. The first picture shows the Westinghouse clone dishwasher. I still need to find a RCA-badged Whirpool clone dishwasher from the 1970s like my aunt had...

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Post# 779734 , Reply# 20   8/27/2014 at 15:42 (2,213 days old) by brib68 (Central Connecticut)        

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Waaaayyyyy back in the day, RCA had a home appliance line called Estate, which they sold off to Whirlpool in the 50s. part of the deal gave Whirlpool the rights to market their appliances as RCA-Whirlpool through the mid-60s.

In the mid-80s GE bought RCA (GE and Westinghouse had originally had ownership interest in RCA, but the DOJ broke it up in the 30s, due to anti-trust concerns). GE also used the RCA name as a second-line of appliances, either a 'discount' label or a 'control' label to give a small retailer a recognizable brand that was 'unique'--that is, not sold at Sears/Fretter/Silo/etc.--and therefore enabling a small store to not have to have a competitive product without having the customer get all the good sales attention and then go to the mall where the same model is being sold for way less with no customer service.

Estate, of course, is Whirlpool's lower-end line now. And Inglis is Best Buy's 'exclusive' line from Whirlpool, the way Siemens is Best Buy's label from Bosch.

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