GE Fridge Built During Prohibition Still Works

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Two residents of Montgomery, New York, own a refrigerator that was manufactured before the Great Depression. And it still works.

The title of oldest working refrigerator in the U.S. now belongs to this three-foot-tall GE Globe Top cooler. According to the New York Post, the machine must have been built some time between 1929 and 1931, and cost $300 upon purchase—a figure that equals about $4,225 in today’s money.

While it may not look like a fridge, it certainly acts like one. The basketball-sized art deco globe at the top of the fridge houses a mechanical assembly that still functions, and still cools food.

The previous record holder Mike Ansel, from Pennsylvania, owns a still-working GE flat top model from 1938. So that begs the question, did GE make some truly primo fridges back during the depression? Or did they just have the market cornered?

Whatever the reason, you have to love the design on this thing. GE, if you’re reading this, consider building a retro model in this fashion.

Currently, Big Chill is one of the only appliance makers selling awesome retro-designed fridges. But they focus on 1950’s and 60’s post-war styles; there’s got to be a market for that awesome 1920’s art deco look.

See images of the fridge here.

GE assembly line.jpg
Coming off the assembly line [GE Photographic Collection]