Thread Number: 86316  /  Tag: Wanted to Buy Items
ISO 1946 Philco A-752 Conservador Refrigerator
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Post# 1108882   2/20/2021 at 14:28 (1,153 days old) by TickldTurquoise (KC, Missouri)        

Hi everyone, I'm looking for a 1946 Philco A-752 refrigerator in very good to excellent working condition to buy, with all the inside shelves and bins intact, if possible. As I live in Missouri near Kansas City, I would prefer to locate one close by, but neighboring states (NE, IA, OK, AR, KS, OH) would be fine. Please shoot me a message if you have one gathering dust or know of one for sale in your area. Many thanks in advance!

The accompanying photos are of an A-752 belonging to a fellow Facebook vintage refrigerator enthusiast and is illustrative of what I'm looking for.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size

Post# 1108892 , Reply# 1   2/20/2021 at 16:01 (1,153 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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What's up with that inner door?


Post# 1108899 , Reply# 2   2/20/2021 at 17:01 (1,153 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Hey Ralph, that's what makes it the "Conservador" model. The opposite side has shelves that face the outer door. It had to be made this way to get around the Crosley patents, while still offering these type shelves. It was introduced around 1940.

Post# 1108910 , Reply# 3   2/20/2021 at 18:06 (1,153 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Thanks Tom, I was thinking the unseen side of that inner door had some shallow shelving.  I would find having to open two doors to access most of the contents quite annoying and wonder if homemakers in the market for a new fridge back then felt the same way.  Philco's V-handle system was far more enlightened.


I imagine one of these models won't be easy to find, and likely won't be in such nice shape as the one pictured.

Post# 1109014 , Reply# 4   2/21/2021 at 13:59 (1,152 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan and Palm Springs, CA)        

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My great-aunt in Walnut Creek, CA had one of those--we visited her in 1973...remembered being fascinated by the refrigerator...

Post# 1109322 , Reply# 5   2/23/2021 at 14:57 (1,150 days old) by ken (NYS)        

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The door handle was configured to operate two separate latches. The handle was a two piece affair. The longer part laid inside of and was surrounded on three sides (top, bottom and side facing the door) by a shorter part.

Placing your hand towards the outer end of the handle (the longer part) and giving a pull released only the outer door, with the Conservador remaining latched in place, if you were wanting something stored in it. Placing your hand towards the inner end of the handle (closer to the base) and pulling released both the outer door and Conservador, and you swung both to the side, if you were wanting something from an inner shelf, crisper drawer or freezer. There was even provision to unlatch the Conservador manually, by simply pushing on the outer edge of the latch, if you had opened only the outer door and then decided you wanted to get into the inner compartment.

Still two doors to move? Yes, but Philco had given some thought in making the system convenient to use.

I have a 1940 Philco that operates fine. But unfortunately the Conservador was missing when I acquired it.

Come to think of it maybe that proves your point Ralph and that's why it was removed! LOL.

This post was last edited 02/23/2021 at 19:34
Post# 1109357 , Reply# 6   2/23/2021 at 23:02 (1,150 days old) by TickldTurquoise (KC, Missouri)        
Here's another view of the inner door closed with shelve

Folks, here's a 3rd photo of this particular model Philco fridge, with the inner door closed and showing the shelves on it. Pretty darned cool, if I say so. So far, no response to my Craigslist post, but I'm not ready to throw in the towel.....

  View Full Size
Post# 1109405 , Reply# 7   2/24/2021 at 12:06 (1,149 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Ken, thanks for that explanation.  That makes the whole system a lot more tolerable. 


Personally, I'd have wanted the reverse of what Philco designed the handle to do.  It seems to me that opening both doors would be better served by the extra leverage from the outer part of the handle.  I would also wager that more often than not, the user would be wanting to get at contents behind the inner door, or a guest or anyone not trained on the process would be grasping the outer portion of the handle and expecting to see the the contents behind the inner door.  Additionally, with less leverage closer to the pivot point, grasping that part of the handle to effect opening of both doors seems awkward.


Thanks also to the OP for the additional picture.


It's a beautiful fridge.  I'm just not so sure I could ever get used to it.

Post# 1109431 , Reply# 8   2/24/2021 at 18:09 (1,149 days old) by rickr (.)        

rickr's profile picture
They had one of these at A1 Marks used appliances a couple of years ago. Don't know if they still have it, or not. Phone 260-422-5700 Ask for Bruce. He is the one guy that really cares about the antique appliances that they have. They are located in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Post# 1109443 , Reply# 9   2/24/2021 at 19:37 (1,149 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan and Palm Springs, CA)        

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I distinctly remember my great-aunt's requiring two things to get the milk out of the refrig when we had dinner at her house...but that could have been my unfamiliarity. Pushing the bakelite latch sprung it open...probably a half-gallon of Lucerne 2% was what was there.

Post# 1109453 , Reply# 10   2/24/2021 at 20:38 (1,149 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

rp2813's profile picture

Jamie, that Lucerne milk from Safeway would have been in the classic '70s carton with the giant "L" and stylized daisy motif on it, as seen on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  It was easily recognizable and was a dead giveaway that except for the random exterior shot, the filming all happened at CBS Studios in greater Los Angeles.

Post# 1109583 , Reply# 11   2/26/2021 at 00:08 (1,148 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan and Palm Springs, CA)        

jamiel's profile picture
lol so true...we were on our western trip. We'd just finished several days in southern california with my aunt/uncle and exotic! All the oranges we wanted to peel/squeeze. Oceans and beaches. Taco Bell. Headed up to San Francisco to see Aunt Virginia and Uncle Fred. They'd never had kids--he was an accountant w/Arthur Andersen. We had a nice dinner in their pretty house with white carpet and my brother was floridly sick all over the mom was aghast, although I remember Aunt Virginia took it with equanimity. My brother was indeed ill--we ended up in the ER in Grand Junction, CO a couple days later. I don't remember much else--I was about 10; my brother, 6.

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