1930 GE Refrigerator

Our 1928 house came with a 1930 GE Monitor Top Refrigerator in the basement, which was a fun addition to the many retro features in the house.

Our 1930 GE Refrigerator, likely original to our house. It reminded us of Disney's Carousel of Progress ride.

It came complete with metal trays, enamel coated trays, and a terrible smell of ammonia.

General Electric tag on the refrigerator.

Without knowing what exactly what to do with this neat old artifact, we decided to just leave it in the basement (it also weighs about one ton) and figure it out later. Unfortunately, Hurricane Irene flooded our basement and took the fridge with her. There was no way to get all of the river mud and silt out of its intricate parts, so we sadly had to send it away with the rest of the flood debris. Aside from the gravity coal furnace, this is the one object I am most upset about losing to the flood.

One day while shopping in an antique/toy/gift store in town, we came across this vintage ad for the same GE Refrigerator that we had in our basement. It looked identical. We had to have it for a sentimental memento, as well as for the entertainment value of the advertisement.

1930 GE ad.

The text of the ad is classic 1930: “Why hesitate to suggest to your husband the gift you long for most? … The refrigerator with the Monitor Top – as distinguished in its modern beauty as in its splendid record of economical performance – what a glorious gift for any woman to receive!”

While the ad plays to outdated domestic roles, it also speaks of what an economical and efficient gift this is. People are concerned with appliance noise, cost, payment plans, appearance, convenience and of course finding good gifts for mothers and wives. Perhaps it is not so different from today’s advertisements and domestic concerns.

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