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Sep 22nd
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Home The Decades 1920s Frigidaire


VAV!/July 8, 2011

Frigidaire, the household name in appliances!

Have you taken more than a passing thought to consider the origins of these high-performing, easy-to-use appliances packed with all the style and design elements available on the market? That's right, and they don't just merely look great, these appliances aid in overall improved performance with better and speedier results in everyday use!

Let's reach back to the beginnings of Frigidaire...where it all began...

Did you know the Frigidaire company was founded in 1916?   It was!   A year before the company was founded, engineer Alfred Mellowes had designed the first true refrigerator.   He then set up a small factory, the Guardian Refrigerator Company in Fort Wayne, Indiana,  and began to produce his invention.

Alas, the progress of building each refrigerator was time consuming and usually taking up to a week to complete each unit. Within two years of  the Guardian Refrigerator's opening it was apparent production was taking longer than anticipated.  The fledgling Company had begun to feel the pangs of financial strain and was in peril of bankruptcy.


Noticing the merits of the refrigerator production undertaken by Guardian Refrigerator Company, William C. Durant, General Motors Corp. President, negotiated purchase of the floundering Company in 1918 and renamed it Frigidaire.  In 1919,  Durant sold the Company to General Motors and the operation moved to Detroit. Applying mass production techniques, improved production facilities and the addition of sales offices, Frigidaire began in earnest.

Bring on the mother lode of magnificence with THE Frigidaire company!

Since its founding, Frigidaire has made a huge contribution to industry and been on the forefront with many 'firsts'.

In 1921, when General Motors transferred the division to its Delco Light subsidiary in Dayton, Ohio, Frigidaire excelled in their progress. The original wooden food cabinet was transformed into a porcelain, insulated, steel "fridge" housing temperature controls.

During the years that followed, Frigidaire began to expand and diversify their technology.  They also expanded their product line with other refrigerated products to include the introduction of ice-cream cabinets, refrigerated soda fountains, milk coolers, drinking fountains, room air conditioners, and display freezers for groceries.

By the late 1930s, Frigidaire introduced the range oven, water heater, clothes washer, and clothes dryer.

During the 1940s and World War II, Frigidaire made a wide variety of aircraft parts and assemblies, including propellers, gas tanks, artillery, and bomb hangars. The company also produced Browning machine guns, tank assemblies and automotive engine parts.

During the 1950s the company introduced automatic ice-makers, auto-defrost refrigerators and frost-free refrigerator models. By 1954, the company contributed to the overall integration of color-matched groupings of appliances into production.

Consider this time line highlighting some of the innovations of Frigidaire:


Began to manufacture ice cream cabinets


The first all-steel refrigerator cabinet


The first porcelain-on-steel refrigerator exterior


The first home food freezer (chest type)

The first self-contained room air conditioner

The millionth refrigerator built and International sales begin


The first "Hydrator", a humidity drawer for fruits and vegetables


The first use of freon as a refrigerant


The first "Quickube" aluminum ice tray with a built-in cube release

Frigidaire electric range line with an all-porcelain enamel interior and exterior, as well as fiberglass insulation around the oven itself


The first air-cooled, window-type air conditioner


Laundry product line added

The Frigidaire washer has a vertical pump agitator and spin dry speed of 1,000 rpms


The first refrigerator-freezer combination with completely separate freezer section


The first compact 30" electric range


The first automatic defrosting of the refrigerator compartment "Cycla-Matic"

The first built-in automatic lint removal system in an automatic washer


First color-matched appliances offered by Frigidaire


"Ice Ejector", a storage bin with built-in cube release is introduced


"Frigi-Foam" insulation allowed for the first Frost-Proof refrigerator-freezer

The first automatic soak cycle

Pull 'N Clean oven pulls out for stand-up cleaning


The jet action washer with roller-matic mechanism - not belts, pulleys or gears


The first automatic ice maker which delivers cubes to the ice saver on door


Molded "agi-tub" introduced, a combination spin tub and agitator

First use of polypropylene in a washer tub

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