Many years ago, I needed to buy a refrigerator for a house I was renting. On a tight budget, I visited a local used appliance store. I opened and closed the doors and freezer compartments of one refrigerator after another until … whoa, what is this? I had opened the door of a GE refrigerator and noticed a shaft in the center of the refrigerator that was supporting curved shelves that spun out, lazy-Susan style, to get to items on the back. A button could be pressed where the shelf clings to the shaft so you can raise or lower the shelf in about 1-inch increments.
The Allure of Vintage Kitchen Appliances
After I closed the refrigerator’s door, a foot pedal on the base of the refrigerator caught my eye. I pressed my toes on the pedal and the refrigerator door popped open! I was struck by this simple technology from the mid-1950’s! That foot pedal to open the door was a brilliant feature. I loved it! I bought that refrigerator and used it for many years until selling it to the next occupants of the house.
Kitchen décor from the mid 20th century continues to attract homeowners, eager to create a vintage kitchen. Perhaps the retro allure is from those baby boomers that have fond memories of the kitchen from their childhood.
Retro refrigerators and stoves can be much more expensive than stock items at your local super center because the vintage appliances are often taken apart to be cleaned and refinished. The electric operations of the appliance are replaced with modern, energy efficient motors and cooling equipment.
Where to Buy Retro/Antique/Vintage Appliances
To complete the retro kitchen make-over, homeowners seek old refrigerators and stoves that can be restored, or new refrigerators and stoves made to mimic the vintage designs of the 1940’s to the 1960’s. Looking for retro, antique or vintage appliances? Check your local phone directory for antique appliance dealers in your area or view the websites listed below of business that restore kitchen appliances that can be shipped to you. The websites display kitchen appliance restoration projects and may offer parts, service or appraisals.
Vintage Appliances of Tucson, AZ. They carry restored and unrestored stoves and refrigerators. Their website is available here.
Antique Appliances, located in Clayton, GA, restores antique refrigerators and stoves. View their website here.
Big Chill does a twist on vintage kitchen appliances and puts modern technology inside antique-looking exteriors of stoves and refrigerators. The exteriors are actually new construction that mimics the old design. Located in Boulder, Colorado, you can catch their website here.
Pastense offers vintage refrigerators with matching stoves. They are located in San Francisco, CA and their website is here.
Lehman’s is located in Kidron, OH. Visit their website here to see vintage stoves and refrigerators.