Icebox lives on

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Sun Dec 8 16:23:22 UTC 2002

In a message dated 12/06/2002 9:03:51 PM Eastern Standard Time,
laurence.horn at YALE.EDU writes:

> Frigidiare, I think.  Whence "fridge", although I suppose that could
>  also have come from "refrigerator".  The OED is open-minded about
>  which was the direct ancestor.

Ref: Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. _My Years with General Motors_ New York: Doubleday,
date uncertain but between 1963 and 1965, no ISBN.  all information is from
chapter 19.

A man named Alfred Mellowes organized the Guardian Frigerator Compnay in
Detroit in 1916.  When President Durant of General Motors purchased the
company in 1918, it had sold 34 of what it called an "iceless frigerator".
Durant renamed the compnay the Frigidaire Corporation, renamed the product
the "Frigidaire", and resold the compnay to GM.  The purcharse price was
$56,366.50, a bargain considering that as of Feb 21, 1921,

"Frigidaire Corporation: Located at Detroit , Mich. and makes Frigidaires
which up to the present have been a failure....Loss to date about $1,520,000."

Sloan also states:

"The original Kelvinator Corporation entered the electric-refrigerator field
in 1914 and was the first enterprise to manufacture mechanical refrigerators
for household use on a commercial scale.  General Electric and Norge entered
the field in 1927, Westinghouse in 1930.  By 1940, the last prewar year of
unregualted commercial production, Frigidaire's share fo therefrigerator
market---which had been above 50 per cent in the 1920s---was down to 20 to 25
per cent."

Also in 1937 Frigidaire (now a full-fledged division of GM) started expanding
into other applicanes, so that the Frigidaire brand name no longer applied
only to refrigerators.

Hope this data is of some use.

     - Jim Landau

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