Sunday, December 9, 2012

Update on the 1957 GE Combination Refrigerator - Very Cool, but Not Cool Enough (Yet)

I enjoyed meeting Facebook follower Patrick yesterday.  It turns out he has a 1957 GE refrigerator with similarities to my recent estate sale acquisition.  He also brought me this great two-page specifications sheet from his collection of sales pages.  (Thanks Patrick!!)


The star in the lower right corner shows the exterior color choices you had with this model.  Patrick's fridge is pink like the one pictured here, except his is the more traditional single-door fridge with the freezer compartment on top.


I was hoping the specifications would shed some light on a couple of questions I have, but no luck.  The butter compartment is discussed, but it makes no mention if the fridge came with a glass butter dish like the one that was in mine when I found it.  The dish is very heavy and fits the compartment perfectly...
I also wondered what the ice cube trays should look like, what color they were (pink, like the inside of the fridge?), but again, that detail was missing from this sales piece.

Knowing that Patrick was coming to see the fridge got me motivated to do some more cleaning.  I got the outside looking pretty good, and the inside too.  And with it a little cleaner, I decided to get some better photos with my new Panasonic micro four-thirds camera.






This shot illustrates the cool swivel feature of three of the shelves.


Below the movable shelves are two pie-shaped crisper boxes for fruits and vegetables.  They also swivel like the shelves.

The riveted tag with the model and serial numbers is still there -- mine is the BH-15P.


Two plastic egg holders sit on one of the door shelves.

The sad news is, while I have the interior light bulbs all replaced and working, the fridge is not cooling and the freezer is not freezing or cooling.  So I need to find someone who can diagnose the problem and hope that it is fixable.  I'd like to find a repair manual for the thing so I could start to understand the mechanical components, so I'll be on the lookout for one of those.



15 comments:

  1. Very nice refrigerator, indeed!

    I'm not very familiar with the way these things work, but I understand that in principle they operate the same as a car air conditioner, and as such, maybe the first thing to check is if the condenser needs to be refilled with cooling gas. Maybe that can fix the problem, assuming everything else works.

    You could find someone fixing fridges and home appliances in the yellow pages; they still do exist.

    Good luck with your project!

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  2. That thing is just too darn cool not to use. I hope you can find someone who can help you get it working soon.

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  3. Wow, it even has a couple of wine bottle racks that look like they're even angled in such a way so as to keep the cork moist! THAT is a great fridge. At WORST you could find someone who might be able to "retro" fit a newer compressor et al to the mechanicals to get 'er runnin', but I suspect as well that it just needs a charge and maybe a leak test.

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  4. The matching kitchen cabinets are for sale along with the range and sink. I made an offer over the weekend.....

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    1. Offer accepted....now have a GE oven/range in turquoise for sale!

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    2. Where are they for sale?

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    3. We have completed the purchase of this kitchen. The electric stove/oven will be for sale in the Northern VA, Washington DC burbs. You can contact me through my blog:
      http://goldberg60.blogspot.com/

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  5. That is just gorgeous, and so thoughtfully designed! Good luck with getting it chilly!

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  6. Oh I do hope you get the bugs worked out! It's looking great though!

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  7. That is one fabulous fridge! I do hope you can find someone to get it chilling... LOVE the color and the circular shelving. What a super find!

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  8. We had an HVAC guy put a new compressor in our 1940s fridge. It was my impression that anyone who works on commercial refrigeration units (like at supermarkets) could do it. Ask around and you might find someone who can do it.

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  9. Okay! Update needed! Did you get it running?? I need to live vicariously through you; we've been looking for one of these for the last 6 years to no avail so I love watching others get theirs going and use them! So exciting!

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    1. Sadly, it's not yet working. I made some calls to appliance repairers locally, and no one wants to touch it. I know of a guy up around Baltimore, but he won't travel to me, so I will probably have to load this hulk back onto my truck and take it to him.

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  10. My aunt has a GE with rotating shelves and freezer up top. It says porcelain inside and I cant seem to find any info about how much they sell for nowadays. it is working but not really pretty and might need some freon? If anyone has an estimate let me know my email is rozatrusty@gmail.com

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