By Cory Doctorow at 11:01 pm Mon, Mar 1, 2010
This fridge is pretty cool, but it isn’t the end all be all of retro. Where’s the ‘ware?
In the 1930s, Hall China of East Liverpool Ohio made fabulous art deco pottery pieces for companies like Westinghouse, General Electric and Sears. A set usually consisted of a water server (pitcher with a lid), a butter dish and a couple of leftover dishes. The shapes weren’t always practical, but they were glorious.
Other companies made ceramic fridgeware sets and you can even find pieces made of glass, if you go for that depression glass kind of thing. But Hall’s are the best. Their pieces are sturdier than those made by the competition, and exhibit the widest range of spectacular designs. I believe Hall had the majority of the contracts to make the pottery that came with the fridges. Most of the other pieces you find were aftermarket. And not for nothing, Hall’s stuff held up, looks good after decades of home use. The company is still in existence and makes restaurant china. Okay, they never made those eggshell thin little cocoa cups that your grandmother so cherished, but there’s a reason you only have two of the original twelve. The rest broke and the one has a hairline crack and the other has a chip on the handle. Besides, there’s all kind of beauty. If you want pottery that looks like it was used on Buck Roger’s spaceship, Hall’s the way to go.
They are just the thing to have on your chrome and naugahyde kitchenette set as you listen to big band music on your bakelite Fada bullet radio. Mmmm yeah, please pass the Ovaltine.
If you click around this site http://hallchina.home.att.net/index2.htm , you can see both the pottery and advertising by the appliance manufacturers from back in the day.
But what will the rest of the world eat?
“But what will the rest of the world eat?”
Hot dogs, of course.
The banana bin is a novel way of using waste heat, and it is sealed off from the freezer. It maintains a higher temperature than room ambient. Ideal for the fruit you must never put in the refrigerator, no, no, no, no.
Wonder if any of those fridge are still around in use.
I don’t know about the refrigerators, but eight years ago I lived in an apartment with Kelvinator electric stoves. 3 burners worked fine. If you touched the 4th you would get an electric shock. In a weird way, I miss that stove.
Didn’t anybody cover food back then? I see a pineapple upside-down cake, a Napoleon, some pink monstrosity possibly involving salmon mousse, a fucking CROWN ROAST, and a… meringue? And that’s not even mentioning all that meat getting freezer burn on the other side.
I doubt such a slender family is really going to eat all that food. Electric bills must be lower than I remember if they’re going to leave the doors open like that.
Amongst whatever the little girl is holding appears to be the top half of what could be construed to be a white … vibrator? WTF? Is my eyesight that bad (or my imagination that weird)?
What IS it?
here you can purchase your very own foodarama!
I’m going to buy a vintage stove from them when we re-do our kitchen. We’re doing just light cosmetic stuff to the kitchen so I figure I can invest in one “cool” appliance since we don’t need to replace the others. :)
“Foodarama,” and other wide-fridge formats were developed by the Hollywood studios to fight against the rising tide of TV dinners…
Yes a slender family can eat that amount of food. In my youth my parents had 2 – yes – 2 refrigerators for food. My dad was an industrial engineer during the day but worked his butt off around the house on nights and weekends (he built his own 3-unit apartment building with a pool at night after work and on weekends – designed it, built it, did all the plumbing and electricity himself) – basically his hobby was to never sit on his butt until he fell asleep (during the so-called Great Depression – he worked his way through school, never lost a job – and thought most people were just lazy that’s why they didn’t have a job), my mom was a dental assistant and did home nursing, and then I was always doing sports or outside activities (playing varsity football, riding my road bike all over SoCal)even though the other half of the time I was reading every book I could get my hand on and played games on my Apple II Plus and Atari 2600 when no one was looking (my mom and dad were older when they adopted me after having 3 kids of their own).
It’s shocking to me to remember how much food we went through – but it wasn’t processed garbage either. My mom cooked every day, hours preparing her homemade healthy goodness. You never starved in my house, you just didn’t get to eat sugary snacks or drink sodas. My friends have fond memories of coming over that we talk about to this day. We’d sit in the backyard by the pool reading whatever new science fiction or fantasy book we’d be reading or playing AD&D (er 1st Edition, cough) and my mom would ask us if we were hungry.
For the next 3 hours my mom would bring out dish after dish of home cooked yumminess. When I was talking to my best friend on Sunday we were talking about our 10 course reading meals that my mom would feed us.
Happy Birthday Mom.
I want the life you had!
I aspire to be just like your Dad, Dhalgren.
I thought it interesting to note how wholesome the food in their fridge is compared to nowadays.
Milk, Juice, eggs, fruit, meats… basic but not the over processed stuff we are used to today. Where are the prepackaged meals, the frozen pizza, the sugar beverages?
Anyway thought I would point out the obvious since no one else has seem to.
re: “That woman is floating in air?”
I think he’s just so angry he’s holding her up by the scruff of her neck.
but that doesn’t explain her lack of feet…
No processed foods, but look how few fruits and vegetables there seems to be. You have the giant rack-o-bananas, and a long thin drawer full of what appears to be apples, peppers and… jelly donuts?
Meanwhile there’s a crate of eggs, 5 jars of milk and something like 3 or 4 cakes.
Yes, food really has changed that much in fifty years: see exhibit A. http://www.lileks.com/institute/gallery/knox/index.html
That one’s got room for THREE Indiana Joneses and can repel the blast effects from a 10 Megaton Warhead! Take that, Whirlpool!
Bananas in the freezer?
If you’ve never eaten a frozen banana you’re missing out. We used to eat them like pops when I was a kid. They’re like banana ice cream.
Nom nom nom.
I don’t even know what most of those things are! I assume “crown roast” refers to the red wide thing on the same shelf as the milk, but still don’t know what it is. And the pink thing? The striped yellow and white loaf thing? The white casserole in a pie dish at the top? And the jar next to the pink thing contains… canned individual peeled orange slices? And I never would have gotten that pineapple upside down cake if @ El Mariachi hadn’t pointed it out. I would not have thought food had changed so much in ~50 yrs (but then, I don’t cook, so maybe I’m just out of it).
Just look at them.
Hells yeah bananas in the freezer!
Where do you think banana cake comes from?
Old refrigerators are kewl, About 2 months ago I ordered a compressor online and replaced it in the 30+ year old fridge I use that is cosmetic and now also mechanical sound shape.
Richard has just arrived home from an exhausting meeting at work advocating the wide benefits of urban sprawl and increasing infrastructure for automobile commuting. He notices Sally blithely examining the contents of their new fridge with the doors wide open.
Angered, and with tightly clenched teeth, he tells young Sally to “SHUT THE GODDAMN DOOR!”.
Sally, being as young as she is, doesn’t know what to make of her father’s strange facial reaction. If he is angry, why is he smiling? How come he hasn’t taken his belt off yet?
Meanwhile, his wife Eliza looks on with lustful eyes, her husband fulfilling her need for a hot-tempered male adept at the operations of community development.
“Will the pixies really really bring me a pony if I hide in the freezer compartment, Daddy?”
they’ll never get through that before it goes off… and I’m confused by the cans in the left door as well… unless they’re the old fashioned frozen juices in cardboard tubes like I used to have back in the sixties…
That woman is floating in air?
I think you have uncovered the world’s first photoshop disaster!
“That woman is floating in air?”
I’d submit it to the website photoshopdisasters.blogspot.com, but given its age I guess it’s more appropriate for the print journal The Professional Illustrators’ Index of Published Errors in X-Actoâ„¢ Knife, Acetate Transfer, and Photostatic Reproduction Usage.
Also, yeah, bananas in the fridge? I can deal with the whole hokey 50s materialism-and-repression schtick, but that’s just WRONG.
Yeah those are juice cartons and frozen soups (which as far as I know don’t exist in that form factor anymore) watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V607zmRhHc
Also the banana bin is unrefrigerated. I still don’t quite get it at all.
Of particular interest to me is the relative lack of processed foods
Well there goes my bananas in the freezer theory (although I do have a bunch in my freezer right now out of which I make baked goods).
In terms of the lack of processed foods. My idea is that there were far fewer available back when this fridge/freezer was made. People knew how to cook and there was no such thing as a microwave, so instant foods weren’t as endemic. Also, women stayed at home more and hence had more time to cook than currently. Compared to the US, New Zealand has far fewer processed foods. I think most countries compared to the US would be processed-foods poor. We don’t even have non-dairy whipped topping! We did recently get cheese in a can much to our chagrin.
It’s an advertisement of course the famjily is unrealistically thin the food is not covered and EVERYBODY is smiling. What did you expect ?!!!!!
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