Posted by: patwogan | March 6, 2009

Our Frigidaire

I was in a meeting of senior citizens yesterday and the subject of refrigerators was brought up.  It was at that time that I realized I was not the only one who used to think the word for refrigerator was Frigidaire.

When I was little, we had a Frigidaire.  Grandma and Grandpa had an ice box and I mentioned it in the posting about homemade ice cream.   The way they let the ice man know they needed ice was by putting a sign in the window.  This was a square sign with different numbers on each edge which told the ice man how many pounds of ice were needed.  It depended on the size of your ice box compartment how large a block of ice it would hold.  The ice man would then bring the block of ice into the house and place it in the compartment.  As I remember, nobody back then kept their doors unlocked and sometimes the ice man would just come in, announcing his presence as he did by saying, “Ice Man”.  He knew where the ice box was and put the ice in and left.  I don’t know how he got paid, but assume the customer was billed periodically.  The house where we lived when we moved across the road from Grandma’s house had a very large ice box in the pantry off the kitchen.  The ice compartment had a door on the outside so the ice man didn’t have to come into the house.  (As we had a Frigidaire, we didn’t use the ice box and the ice compartment being opened on two sides made a great place to play hide and seek.)  As I read that, it seems scary to me that we hid in the ice compartment.  It must not have been air-tight.   People who had ice boxes used ice picks to take off small chunks of ice for cooling tea or lemonade, the two most popular drinks in the summertime.  I don’t recall using ice in water as it was cool as it came from the cistern.

Our Frigidaire was not the kind that had the unit on top, but looked like a regular refrigerator of today.  The main thing I remember about it was that it had a rubber ice cube tray.  This was supposed to facilitate the removal of the ice cubes as you could flex the tray and the cubes would fall out.  Much like the plastic flexible ice cube trays of today.  The difference was that everything frozen in the rubber tray took on the flavor of the rubber.  I don’t know how that happened after many years, but it did.  Mom used the rubber tray to make Kool-Aid popsicles.  These were the only popsicles I ever knew about when I was a kid.  The “popsicles” could be popped out one at a time and although they weren’t very big, they were a treat in the hot Kansas’ summers.  I loved red best of all, whether it was strawberry or cherry didn’t matter…just so it was red.  They were delicious and cheap.

Another summertime treat we were able to make because of the Frigidaire was  ice cream.  It couldn’t hold a candle to hand-cranked homemade ice cream but was supposed to be more convenient to make.  There was an ice cream mix that you could buy at the store.  It came in little packages and was mixed with cream or milk.  The mixture was then placed in the ice cube tray and frozen.  The mix had to be stirred frequently as it was freezing so that it would have a creamy consistency.  Since my Grandma’s homemade ice cream was so delicious, this didn’t even come in a close second and was very seldom made.

We also had floats made with store bought ice cream.  I don’t remember having “Coke” or “Pepsi” but we did have root beer and flavored soda.  I liked Fruit Punch with the vanilla ice cream.  One time Grandpa (who used to make home brewed beer) made some root beer.  As I remember, it wasn’t carbonated and tasted flat…not good at all.

The Frigidaire lasted a long time, because we still were using it when we moved to town.  I don’t know how old it was and don’t even remember getting it replaced at all.  I do remember I was a teen-ager before I knew there were other brands of refrigerators which were not Frigidaires.  Talk about brand recognition!



  1. If someone walked into our houses without permission now, they would have the cops called on them!
    I wish we could still be as trusting as you all were able to be back then.

  2. Oh and since we apparently get to make writing requests to you, I would like to hear how each of your birth experiences was different (like the fact that you were given speed for one of them!)

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