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Vintage Appliances: Hot Stuff That’s Still Cool

Today’s appliances may be digitized techno-wonders, but innovation has been the heart and soul of the appliance industry since the invention of the clothespin. Here are some trendsetters from bygone days that set the bar for modern smart appliances—along with a couple of ideas that thankfully never caught on.

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Beautiful, but Dense

A classic 1950s stove, such as this RCA-Whirlpool electric range, could easily weigh 400 or more pounds. Antique-lovers who own one might need replacement parts and a fork lift. However, newer ranges offer tons of convenience without straining floors.

 

Credit: Whirlpool

Image: Whirlpool Corporation Archive Museum
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  • Looking like an escapee from a second-rate sci-fi flick, the 1927 GE Monitor Top refrigerator was a techno-marvel of the day. With its mechanical parts perched jauntily on its shoulders, the Monitor provided lots of usable space inside.

     

    Credit: GE

  • It’s debatable whether the 1947 Thor combination dishwasher and clothes washer helped liberate women from housework. Just don’t put the underwear in with the coffee cups.


    Credit: SSPL/Getty Images

  • A classic 1950s stove, such as this RCA-Whirlpool electric range, could easily weigh 400 or more pounds. Antique-lovers who own one might need replacement parts and a fork lift. However, newer ranges offer tons of convenience without straining floors.

     

    Credit: Whirlpool

  • With its multiple outlets and built-in clock, the Westinghouse Automatic Appliance Center was the perfect helper for the new generation of small electrical appliances that were all the rage in the late 1950’s—toasters, coffee pots, and the indispensible fry pan.

     

    Credit: CSU Archives/Everett Collection

  • A current heartthrob among vintage appliance collectors, the 1960s-era Maytag 340W combined washer and dryer functions in a single space-saving package. Today’s washers and dryers pack on functionality with digital controls, moisture sensors, and noise-dampening construction.

     

    Credit: Whirlpool Corporation Archive Museum

  • Amana offered hundreds of design options for the fronts of their 1966 refrigerators, but you can bet a barrel of muskrats that this mink-lined fridge wasn’t a best-seller. Wrap your refrigerator in luxury with regular maintenance and upkeep.

     

    Credit: Whirlpool Corporation Archive Museum

  • Space-savin’ if not exactly space-age, the 1989 stacked washer-dryer combo from Maytag was a dream come true for those with smaller homes. You’ll save energy when you choose a newer Energy Star-approved washer or dryer.

     

    Credit: Whirlpool Corporation Archive Museum

  • Perhaps in 1997 Whirlpool hoped it would be a patriotic duty of every American to buy a refrigerator in either red, white, or blue. No matter what color your fridge, a good green cleaning will keep it looking great without harsh chemicals.

     

    Credit: Whirlpool Corporation Archive Museum

  • Nothing says “today” like “yesterday.” These retro-chic appliances from companies like Big Chill and Smeg combine 21st-century tech with looks any hep cat would love.

     

    Credit: Big Chill

  • If you like these, you may want to take a spin through HouseLogic’s library of slideshows.

     

  • Fridges from Outer Space
  • Liberating Women with Technology
  • Beautiful, but Dense
  • The Original Multi-Tasker
  • Clean, and Hot for You
  • That Non-PC Touch of Couture
  • Spaced Out
  • American Cool
  • Back to the Future
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  • Image: GE
  • Image: SSPL/Getty Images
  • Image: Whirlpool Corporation Archive Museum
  • Image: CSU Archives/Everett Collection
  • Image: Whirlpool Corporation Archive Museum
  • Image: Whirlpool Corporation Archive Museum
  • Image: Whirlpool Corporation Archive Museum
  • Image: Whirlpool Corporation Archive Museum
  • Image: Big Chill