The Monitor Top Refrigerator: Way Cool!

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.

Incidentally, the monitor-top GE refrigerators got their name from the iron-clad Monitor Ship from The Civil War.

An image from a 1930 magazine, showing the GE Monitor Top

An image from a 1930 magazine, showing the GE Monitor Top

Full ad from a 1930 magazine

The ad reads, "One of the most amazing...and revolutionary triumphs of modern engineering. So remarkable, so unbelievably efficient that the GE refrigerator has established a record of trouble free service unequaled in the entire history of refrigeration..." Further down, it explains that the price was $205 for this modern marvel.

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  1. Arthur Givens

    I have a Square Top General Electric Decal refrigerator that is still running with all of its origenal parts. How much are they worth ?

  2. Nicholas Heinrich

    I am going to build a reproduction monitor top compressor, to modify the icebox on our old railroad bunk car, the compressor will be a newer one, but it will not be noticeable that it is.