GE MONITOR-TOP VINTAGE REFRIGERATOR - see Vintage GE Ads 1920s - 1930s
GE Monitor-Top Vintage Refrigerator
The most recognized of vintage refrigerators is the GE Monitor-Top refrigerator. This residential refrigerator was introduced by General Electric (GE) to the general public in 1927. GE believed so much on its new product that it committed $18 million dollars to the manufacturing of these refrigerators and another million dollars to advertise them to the public. Over a million of GE Monitor-Top refrigerator first models were produced.
The GE Monitor-Top refrigerator first models were certainly not the first home refrigerators in the market at the time. There were other home units which usually required the installation of the mechanical parts, motor and compressor, in the basement or an adjacent room while the cold box was located in the kitchen. Then there was a 1922 model that consisted of a wooden cold box, water-cooled compressor, an ice cube tray and a 9-cubic-foot compartment but cost $714. The price was just astronomical considering a 1922 Model-T Ford cost about $450.
With a price tag of only $300, GE Monitor-Top refrigerator first models were considered "the first affordable refrigeration units" for the average family. Many utility companies offered the GE Monitor-Top refrigerator to their customers for as little as $10 a month, simply added to their monthly utility bill. How convenient!
One GE advertisement claimed that "the GE Monitor-Top Refrigerator was the first refrigerator to see widespread use in the United States. Not only did its function changed the atmosphere of the kitchen forever, but the style and visual appeal of a particular unit (stainless steel, ice dispenser, etc.) were usually what defined the look and value of the kitchen or even the entire house." (1927)
GE was right. By the 1930s, 60% of households in the US owned a refrigerator.
Most Recognizable Design
The GE Monitor-Top refrigerators' compressor assembly, which emitted a great deal of heat, sat on top of the cabinet and surrounded with a decorative ring. These were cooled with one of two refrigerants used during this time, sulfur dioxide or methyl formate, until the introduction of Freon.
Although a few minor features were added along the way, such as enclosed condenser coils and slide out shelves, the basic design of GE Monitor-Top refrigerator remained the same from 1927 until 1936.
You can purchase finished or unfinished vintage refrigerators at a number of vintage appliance stores. Or if you are like me who love going through garage sales, this vintage refrigerator is a nice buy. Some of them still work, but most of all this vintage refrigerator is a nice decorative addition to your collection of antiques, plus is a great conversational piece.
Click image to view original size
Vintage GE Monitor-Top Refrigerator Ads
1927 - GE Monitor Top Refrigerator Vintage Ad
1927 General Electric Refrigerator original vintage advertisement. "Protect food from the killing chill of winter and the bacteria-breeding heat of summer."
1929 GE Monitor Top Refrigerator Vintage Ad
1929 GE Refrigerator original vintage advertisement. Day and night, automatically keeps food safely below 50 degrees. "It's always summertime in your kitchen."
Click on the image to view original size
1930 GE Monitor-Top Refrigerator Vintage Ad
1930 General Electric Refrigerator original vintage advertisement. Proof of efficiency and economy. Not one owner has ever paid for a cent of service. The all steel GE refrigerator is permanently sealed with its own oil supply. Prices start at $205 at the factory.
1935 GE Monitor-Top Refrigerator Vintage Ad
1935 General Electric Refrigerator original vintage advertisement. Showcases the new Monitor Top and the Flat Top models. List prices started at $77.50. "The refrigerator that defies time."
Vintage ads are all courtesy of http://www.adclassix.com