22 Retro Home Appliance Ads That Will Take You Back
Browse vintage ads from Frigidaire, Whirlpool, Hotpoint and other appliances that Grandma wanted in her house.
Amana Food Freezer
Amana manufactured the first upright deep freezer for the home in 1947. This vintage ad from 1953 emphasized efficiency, promising that the appliance would freeze food twice as fast as any other freezer and cost less to operate. Here’s how to decide if a chest freezer or upright freezer is better for you.
Bendix Washing Machine
Bendix is credited with introducing the first automatic washing machine in 1937 at the Louisiana State Fair. This vintage appliance ad, published in 1947, appealed to busy homemakers. With a Bendix, moms could do the laundry and care for their baby at the same time! These handy hints make doing the laundry easier.
International Harvester Refrigerator
International Harvester built farm equipment, including bright red Farmall tractors. After World War II, the company branched out into domestic appliances in an effort to appeal to farm wives. However many of those women were used to canning, not freezing their food. As a result, it was a tough sell. This ad from 1951 promoted a rainbow of accent colors to match the kitchen. Maybe this did the trick! Fun fact—Monica’s apartment on the TV show Friends featured an International Harvester fridge. Do you have any of these valuable vintage items in your kitchen?
Hotpoint Dishwasher Sink
While Hotpoint’s Wonderflo faucet looks fairly standard today, it seemed sensational in 1950. You could change the volume of water coming from the tap without changing the temperature. Here’s the right way to wash your dishes.
Gibson Electric Range
A unique feature on Gibson’s 1953 range was the “ups-a-daisy deep-well cooker.” You could insert a special cooking pot or raise the burner to the surface. This is how to properly clean the burners on your electric stove.
RCA Whirlpool Washer
Homemakers in 1958 were tempted by this washer’s features, including automatic fabric control, cold water washing, a built-in lint filter and a money-saving suds-meiser! Check out the best laundry trick you’ve never heard of.
American Kitchens Roto-Tray Dishwasher
This was certainly a unique spin on a dishwasher! The dish rack turned like a lazy Susan for easy loading and ding the wash cycle. The advertisement from 1953 said the appliance cost only 3 cents per meal to run while cutting your work in half. Well, we think that’s worth twirling about! Psst: These tips will help you load your dishwasher the right way.
Maytag Automatic Washer
Originally known for manufacturing farm equipment, Maytag’s first clothes washer was produced in 1907. This 1955 Maytag ad focused on efficiency. The washing machine could save nine gallons of hot water per load—that’s a lot of tea kettles! Make sure you never put these things into the dryer.
Hotpoint was the first brand to add wheels to its refrigerators, making it easier to move them for cleaning. This ad from 1969 also promotes the easy release ice tray, cantilever shelves and space to store watermelon for the whole family—woo hoo! These tips will help you organize your fridge the right way.
Westinghouse Washing Machine
Contrary to popular belief, this 1944 Westinghouse washing machine ad said the way to a man’s heart is not through his stomach, but through clean bath towels. Learn how to keep your towels fluffy and fresh.
Crosley Shelvador Refrigerator
Back in the 1930s, Crosley was the first to put shelves in the refrigerator door. Nowadays that’s where everyone stashes their condiments (just don’t store this ingredient there). But this Shelvador ad from 1950 showed families they wouldn’t have to reach for food in the back of the fridge.
Tappan Gas Range
This gas range featured everything a home cook could ask for in 1968. And it came in popular colors like coppertone, avocado and harvest gold. Bonus fact: The Tappan Stove Company produced the the first home microwave, which sold for $1,295 in 1955. You’ll love these vintage kitchen colors straight out of Grandma’s house!
This Norge ad, which appeared in the August 1947 issue of Good Housekeeping, highlighted that the fridge could hold a full 24-pack of bottles. Purchasing one of these fridges would have made you a popular hostess. The brand had a brief moment of fame when Dan Aykroyd played a Norge repairman on a Saturday Night Live skit in 1978. These vintage food brands are much older than you think.
Hotpoint Built-in Ovens
These sleek, built-in wall ovens from Hotpoint in 1959 wouldn’t look out of place in a high-end kitchen today. However, matching your dress to your countertops might draw a few raised brows. Here’s how to check if your oven is working properly.
Frigidaire/General Motors Refrigerator
Yes, it’s true, General Motors once made refrigerators—sort of. The Frigidaire brand was owned by GM from 1919 to 1979. This refrigerator from 1974 featured a radio and cassette player in the door. You could play your favorite music, record messages instead of writing them down, or learn a language while you made weeknight dinners. Check out these futuristic refrigerator features that we love!
General Electric Mobile Maid Dishwasher
Dishwashers, at first used in restaurants and hotels, gained acceptance by homeowners as they came down in price and size. General Electric’s Mobile Maid promised convenience and portability in 1963. For instance, it rolled right to the sink, ready to get dishes sparkling clean. Learn how to clean your dishwasher in five easy steps.
General Electric Refrigerator-Home Freezer
Apparently this fridge from 1950 was magic. The magnetic door opened and closed without you using your hand. But look again—there’s a hidden foot pedal. (We tested the top magic erasers—here’s the winner.)
Crosley Electric Range
Crosley wanted homemakers to know that this 1949 electric range had beauty and brains, plus it made cooking more fun. What more could you ask for? It was perfect for whipping up a quick snack or preparing a multi-course meal. Check out the vintage food ads Grandma admired in her favorite magazines.
The Philco brand, “Famous for Quality the World Over,” was first known for making radios and TVs. This “wonderful refrigerator” advertised 10 cubic feet of capacity in an 8 cubic foot space. However, modern fridges are often twice this size. But this is why your new fridge might not hold as much as you expect.
Kalamazoo Electric Range
The Kalamazoo Stove Company, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, marketed its products directly to consumers by mail order with the catchy slogan, “A Kalamazoo, Direct to You.” This 1947 ad for an electric range compared women to Christopher Columbus, saying they had made a money-saving discovery. These vintage recipes from the 1940s are definitely worth trying today.
Servel manufactured gas-powered refrigerators from 1933 to 1957. The appliances were often used in remote locations where electricity was not available. However, today these fridges are considered unsafe. Owners should contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission for disposal instructions and a $100 rebate. Beware of these other common kitchen items that are secretly toxic.
Kelvinator Automatic Cook
This range from Kelvinator promised to cook whole meals by itself, even fancy foods like lobster. The fourth burner could hold a “Scotch Kettle,” aka a deep well cooker, or a pressure cooker. Kelvinator merged with Nash Motor Company in 1937, and the brand is now owned by Electrolux. Now you can make lobster at your house, too (but you do have to do a little work).