Vintage Appliances

Discussion in 'Your Vintage Home' started by Rosie, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. lolly_loisides

    lolly_loisides One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,846
    Location:
    The Blue Mountains, Australia
    As Gatsby was filmed in Australia, I thought it would be likely that the kettle was from an Australian manufacturer, and sure enough here's a link to an advertising brochure for Hecla (a now defunct company). If you scroll down the page there is more info about Hecla & pictures of the same kettle, Victoria museum dates it to 1933.
    http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/articles/2836
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  2. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    13,245
    Location:
    New York City
    Great find Lolly, and on the cover is what looks to be a picture of a similar looking toaster from the movie as well.
     
  3. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,246
    Location:
    Small Town Ohio, USA
    Thank you!

    The chance of finding one in the US is pretty slim...
     
  4. lolly_loisides

    lolly_loisides One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,846
    Location:
    The Blue Mountains, Australia
    No worries.
    The other problem with you buying Australian electrical goods is that they are 240 volts so you'd need to buy an converter as well.
     
  5. The Reno Kid

    The Reno Kid A-List Customer

    Messages:
    360
    Location:
    Back in the Biggest Little City
    I'm bumping this because I just spotted an auction that may be of interest to our Northern California members. Anchor Auctions (of Reno) will be auctioning the contents of a vintage appliance store in Sonoma on Dec 11, 2015. From what I can see, most of the items are kitchen ranges, but Anchor doesn't always post pictures of every item that will go under the hammer. Take a look at http://anchorauctions.com/. Click on "Upcoming Auctions," then scroll to the bottom of the page.
     
  6. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    There's been a lot of talk around the Lounge over the years about the energy efficiency of vintage appliances, especially vintage refrigerators -- and by "vintage" we usually mean pre-1950s, pre-self-defrosting models. There's been a lot of estimating, but I've now come across some positive documentation on this issue. In the May 1940 issue of Consumers Union Reports, there appears a lengthy discussion of 1940-model refrigerators, accompanied by the results of detailed testing of each of the popular makes in the CU laboratories. Among the matters addressed is the energy efficiency of each make -- an important question in those days of comparatively high electricity costs. Here are those results, with power consumption expressed in kilowatt hours per day of electricity consumed. The results are presented from the most efficient models on down.

    All refrigerators listed are approximately 6 to 6.5 cubic feet in storage capacity, which was the standard for most pre-1950 models.

    1. Norge AR-6A -- Sealed rotary mechanism, SO2 refrigerant. -- 0.53 kwh/day -- 193.5 kwh/yr

    2. Hotpoint 120EA63-40 -- Sealed reciprocating mechanism, SO2 refrigerant -- 0.62 kwh/day -- 226.3 kwh/yr
    General Electric LB-6B-40 -- same

    3. Westinghouse LS-6-40 -- Sealed reciprocating mechanism, Freon refrigrant -- 0.68 kwh/day, 248.2 kwh/yr

    4. Stewart Warner 610 -- Sealed rotary mechanism, Freon refrigerant -- 0.84 kwh/day, 306.6 kwh/yr

    5. Frigidaire SVS6-40 -- Sealed rotary mechanism, F-114 refrigerant -- 0.87 kwh/day, 317.5 kwh/yr

    6. Kelvinator CSX-6 -- Sealed reciprocating mechanism, Freon refrigerant -- 0.89 kwh/day, 324.8 kwh/yr
    Leonard LCSX-6 -- same

    7. Sears Coldspot -- Open rotary mechanism -- SO2 refrigerant -- 0.97 kwh/day -- 354.05 kwh/yr

    8. Crosley M9-60 -- Sealed reciprocating mechanism -- Freon refrigerant -- 1.19 kwh/day -- 434.5 kwh/yr

    9. Wards A64 -- Open reciprocating mechanism -- Freon refrigerant -- 1.37 kwh/day -- 500 kwh/yr.

    By comparison, a modern General Electric energy-efficient 6 cubic foot refrigerator -- sold as a "compact" model -- uses about 360 kwh a year. You can use most of the models listed here free of any accusations of being an "energy hog."

    Note also that most vintage refrigerators used either corrugated paper, glass, balsam or mineral wool, or what's euphemistically called "organic mass," meaning a sort of dried moss, as the insulation. These efficiency ratings are based on models purchased right off the showroom floor by CU, with no modification of any kind. If you were to replace the insulation in your vintage refrigerator with a more efficient insulating material, you would of course see a dramatic improvement in their efficiency. But based on this lab testing -- which owed nothing to any advertising or marketing campaign -- if you've got an original vintage fridge with a good door gasket, you can expect the results shown.

    Note that by 1940 the basic mechanisms used had settled into a standard form, and model changes from here on were based on cabinet design changes and the addition of gimmickry. One reason the Crosley performs so poorly, for example, is because of its "Shelvador" feature, which compromises the amount of insulating material that can be used within the structure of the door. Wise vintage-fridge buyers will be aware of such things. But in general, these ratings should apply fairly reasonably to any 1940's model of these particular brands. If your interest lies more to the atomic-era frost-free models of the fifties and sixties, you're on your own. Suffice it to say you'll be gulping down a lot more energy with one of those.
     
  7. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,372
    Location:
    Gads Hill, Ontario
    My wife and I are looking into vintage repros for a kitchen renovation. There are companies in Canada that do everything from the appliances to the cabinetry.

    Elmira Stove Works started out making new wood burning stoves (they still do) but expanded into electric and gas stoves, and fridges too:

    http://www.elmirastoveworks.com
     
  8. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,191
    Location:
    Gopher Prairie, MI
    But why bother? A quality vintage stove will be much cheaper, will cook better, and will be easier to clean. By "quality" I mean a stove which was top-of-the-line when it was new. I like 1920's ranges in their high legs, but if one likes the streamline aesthetic, well there are some early 1950's ranges that are the cat's meow! I just noted a Universal gas range for sale locally for a hundred dollars. four burner with griddle, large oven and broiler. Being a 44" wide range it had what looked like a second oven or storage compartment. When one pulled on the handle the entire compartment rolled out of the stove, as a work cart, with shelves, drawers, and a butcher block top. The ingenuity of the designers was endless, and they were actually attempting to solve real kitchen problems.
     
    Papperskatt likes this.
  9. SurfGent

    SurfGent Suspended

    Messages:
    853
    The steel alone in them was enough to make no fewer than 3 cars today
     
  10. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,372
    Location:
    Gads Hill, Ontario
    Interesting.

    But what do you say to the people laid off at Emira Stove works?

    And presumably there are sufficient originals in working condition to satisfy the demand?

    Sometimes, newer is the better option, or the only available option. This debate rages in the suits section - original or copy.

    How about both, to each their own?
     
  11. sheeplady

    sheeplady I'll Lock Up Bartender

    For those of us for which electric is the only option, there are restorers who do conversions on vintage stoves.

    (I'm well aware that propane is an option if you do not have a natural gas source, but if one feels unsafe having a propane tank lying around, there are still options.)

    Also, if buying a vintage counter appliance that is 240 V you can have a specialized plug put in and line run to provide that. Electric stoves in the US run off of 240, as do some other things (such as a kiln).
     
  12. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,191
    Location:
    Gopher Prairie, MI
    And of course vintage electric stoves, dating from the 1920's to the 1960's.
     
  13. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    If you go electric, go Hotpoint. The replacement parts are still very very easy to find. I've replaced the oven element in mine twice in the thirty years I've owned it, both times for about $30. The first time I got the element from the local Hotpoint dealer, off his back-room shelf, the second -- since that dealer's gone out of business -- I found on ebay. You don't need a tech to do the installation -- pop some screws off the back, unscrew some nuts, slide the new element in, screw the nuts back down, and cook your supper. Ten minute job, max, unless you take the time to clean behind the stove while you're back there.
     
  14. 1930artdeco

    1930artdeco Practically Family

    Messages:
    564
    Location:
    oakland
    I know that gas ranges have not improved in efficiency very much other than burner size. But what about the electric stoves?

    Mike
     
  15. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    There isn't any real difference between a Calrod heating element today and those used eighty years ago.

    The high-end foodie people are big on "induction cooking" and there are claims that it's more efficient than the old-style electric stove. But much of that seems to be marketing hype.
     
  16. Bruce Wayne

    Bruce Wayne My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Now it's an hour by the time you clean up the grease splatter.
     
  17. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,191
    Location:
    Gopher Prairie, MI
    Well, if you are insistent in a modern oven with Carlos oven units it is a good idea to stick with Hotpoint, General Electric, or Frigidaire, for the elements are easily available, as you have noted. The Chromalox burners on the Kenmore ranges from the early 1950" s are particularly hard to find these days.. For earlier, pre-war ranges, though, any of he Calrod cook-top burners of the correct physical size may be made to fit. The oven burners in pre-'04 war and early post-war ranges were just nichrome wire coils run in ceramic spools. The wire coils are easily and cheaply available, and will fit virtually all ranges.
     
  18. sheeplady

    sheeplady I'll Lock Up Bartender

    I've heard this is especially true with modern high end "commercial" ranges. Apparently they have a lot of parts and are a pain to clean.
     
  19. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I find it's easier to just paint over the grease splatter.

    I've never understood the point of the "commercial kitchen" fad. If I wanted a commercial kitchen, I'd live in a pizza joint.
     
  20. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    13,245
    Location:
    New York City
    The thing that I wonder about also is the giant-refrigerator fad, especial in NYC where it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Most kitchens in this city are really small: 8'X14' is common as are smaller and only somewhat larger (away from the uber-wealthy). But for whatever reason, the trend now is to get really big refrigerators. Thirty-six inches wide use to be "big" now people want refrigerators north of 40" wide and I regularly see 48" ones.

    In our apartment building, the kitchens are as I described. I recently saw a renovation in one of the smaller apartments - that kitchen is (I'm guessing) about 10' X 10' and the owner put in a 48" (4'!) wide refrigerator. It looks like it is eating the entire kitchen. I just don't get it. Growing up, we had a normal sized (never thought about it, but looking back, I'd guess 30" wide - or whatever was a normal GE in those days) and while it was a bit crowded now and then, our family of four did fine with it.

    Today, my girlfriend and I have a 30" and, other than at holidays if we are having several people over, all is fine (and I'm not going to buy a gigantic refrigerator for the two times a year it would come in handy). I'm a live and let live guy - so if people want it and can afford it - go for it, but I just don't get why someone (other than the specific one-off reasons - I cook for 8 every other week, I run a small bakery out of my house, etc.) would want such an outsized appliance in, in particular in NYC, a small kitchen.

    Last thought, I have suburb friends who have bought a second refrigerator and / freezer for $400 or so bucks and thrown it in the garage or basement as they say then can make the cost up by buying things in bulk on sale. Okay, that makes sense to me, but that isn't what is going on in NYC.
     

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