Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Montana housewives read the newspapers and kept up with modern trends. They looked forward to modernizing their kitchens with the latest conveniences. One of the most important advances was home refrigerators, first introduced in 1911. In 1918, Kelvinator introduced the first refrigerator with an automatic control. The first freezer units were on the market in the 1920s, and in 1922 one model with a water-cooled compressor, two ice-cube trays and nine cubic feet of space cost a whopping $714! Consumers had two hundred different models to choose from. These early electric models usually had a separate compressor driven by belts attached to motors installed in the basement or adjoining room.

Fred Mizen, artist, "For the Hostess," Kelvinator Refrigerators, 1920s
Courtesy saltycotton, via Flickr
During the holiday season of 1930, the new Kelvinator refrigerator included the Kelvinator tray, making preparation of frozen desserts easy. Recipes for frozen delights were all the rage. Particularly popular were cranberry ice, frozen plum pudding, and a frozen Christmas salad made with cream cheese, green peppers, chopped pimiento, lemon juice, and whipped cream.

This 1933 booklet was produced by by the Kelvin Kitchen section of Kelvinator Sales Corporation of Detroit, Michigan.
Courtesy Kristen N. Keegan, History Live
Invention of the flexible ice-cube tray was still to come in 1932, and mass production of refrigerators didn't get started until after World War II.


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