In the 1930s, The “Monitor-top Refrigerator” quickly became one of General Electric’s most popular appliances. Its design was based on a sound principle and a highly efficient plan: The compressor sat atop the fridge, and heat extracted from the appliance cabinet naturally moved up and away from the refrigerator.
According to all reports, these were also unusually well-built appliances, with a life expectancy of 25 years – or more. Today, appliance aficionados are always on the look-out for these vintage refrigerators, because with a little work and a few new parts, they can be restored to their original condition and live on – indefinitely.
Heretofore, no one has created a reproduction Monitor Top refrigerator which is a surprise, especially considering how popular these used appliances have become. A thoroughly restored three-door Monitor Top fridge (fully restored) can fetch $10,000 or more. For more information and detail on these appliances, click here.
When I was researching The Houses That Sears Built, I read 32 years of American Carpenter and Builder, a popular building magazine of the early 1900s. Whilst studying its pages, I found an ad for a Monitor Cupola and a few bells rang in my tired brain. Was this where the “Monitor Top” fridge got its name? The resemblance between this Monitor Cupola and the GE‘s compressor was sound. I’ve googled all the terms I can think to google and yet to no avail. I love to know – is this the source of the moniker Monitor-top?
Update: A friend found a link explaining that monitor-top GE refrigerators got their name from the iron-clad Monitor Ship from The Civil War. Maybe that’s where Monitor Cupolas got their name?
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