The Frigidaire brand will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2016. Still a leader today in the “white goods” (major household appliances), the company currently offers a line of appliances which include refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, microwaves, air conditioners, and both gas and electric stoves.Frigidaire has a brand heritage second to none in the world, with a long list of “firsts” and boasts a customer base that is the envy of the industry.
Frigidaire is an American brand of consumer and commercial appliances. Frigidaire was founded as the Guardian Frigerator Company in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and developed the first self-contained refrigerator (invented by Nathaniel B. Wales and Alfred Mellowes) in 1916. In 1918, William C. Durant, a founder of General Motors, personally invested in the company and in 1919, it adopted the name Frigidaire. The brand was so well known in the refrigeration field in the early 20th century that many Americans called any refrigerator, whatever its brand, a “Frigidaire”. The name Frigidaire or the earlier version, Frigerator, may be the actual origin of the slang term “fridge”.
During WWII even Frigidaire had halted production to contribute to the war effort by building Browning .50 caliber machine guns, aircraft parts and other military items. Frigidaire made a wide variety of aircraft parts and assemblies, including propellers, gas tanks, artillery, and bomb hangars. Over the course of the global conflict, the company produced more than 200,000 Browning Machine Guns. The company also put out tank assemblies and automotive engine parts.
In 1947, after production had resumed, a laundry product line was added. By 1958 Figidaire had built its 50 millionth product and in 1965 the automatic icemaker was introduced. It delivered ice cubes to the door, which is a popular option today.
Along the way, it has recorded quite a few “firsts” and contributed immensely to the industry as a whole.
From 1919 to 1979, the company was owned by General Motors. During that period, it was first a subsidiary of Delco-Light and was later an independent division, based in Dayton, Ohio. Frigidaire was sold to the White Sewing Machine Company 1979, which was in turn purchased by Electrolux, its current parent, in 1986.
While the company was owned by General Motors, its logo featured the phrase “Product of General Motors”, later renamed to “Home Environment Division of General Motors”.
The company claims firsts including:
Electric self-contained refrigerator (September, 1918 in Detroit)
Home food freezer
Room air conditioner
30″ electric range
Coordinated colors for home appliances
During the years that Frigidaire was owned by General Motors, it was very competitive in the automatic clothes-washing-machine business. Frigidaire engineer Kenneth Sisson, also credited with the design of the incrementing timer used on clothes washers and dishwashers for years to come, designed the Frigidaire automatic washer with the Unimatic mechanism in the late 1930s. Production of the first Frigidaire automatic clothes washers was halted due to World War II and therefore the machine was not formally introduced until 1947. The washing action of a Frigidaire automatic was unique in that the agitator pulsated up and down, a unique departure from the traditional oscillating type.
Frigidaire also produces a wide variety of refrigerators and freezers for the consumer market. Their model line-up includes fridge freezer units of several different types. The selection they offer includes traditional Top Freezer models, as well as more modern Side-By-Side and French Door styles. When Frigidaire was acquired by White Consolidated Industries in 1979, it abandoned the General Motors design in favor of the Westinghouse-produced top-loading design, as White-Westinghouse was already among its house brands by this time. Under Electrolux, its Gallery and Gallery Professional lines featured European styling and high-performance features.
Frigidaire has become part of the culture-
The 2007 album Jarvis by British singer songwriter Jarvis Cocker features a song called “From Auschwitz to Ipswich” which features the line:
“Well if your ancestors could see you standing there They would gaze in wonder at your Frigidaire They had to fight just to survive So can’t you do something with your life?”
The word Frigidaire sung to have the double meaning of expensive fridge and ‘frigid hair’
The popular blues song “I’m gonna move to the outskirts of town,” sung by Ray Charles mentions the brand:
“Let me tell you, honey
We gonna move away from here
I don’t need no iceman
I’m gonna get you a Fridgidaire”
The 1953 Spanish movie Welcome Mr. Marshall! the lyrics of the main song features:
“Los yanquis han venido, ole el salero, con mil regalos
y a las niñas bonitas van a obsequiarlas con aeroplanos.
Con aeroplanos de chorro libre,
que corta el aire
y también rascacielos bien conservados en Frigidaire.”
In Australia and the US, the term “fridge” is used to identify a generic refrigerator.
In the Philippines, the term “pridyider,” used to identify a refrigerator, was derived from the word Frigidaire.
In Tunisia, the colloquial term “Frigidaire” is used to identify a generic refrigerator.
In Québec, French-speaking regions of Belgium and Switzerland, and France, the term “frigidaire” is often used verbally (and even in writing) to identify a generic refrigerator.
In Hungary, the spoken form of “Frigidaire” (‘fridzsider’ in Hungarian) is often used to identify a generic refrigerator.
In Romania, the word “frigider” is used to identify a generic refrigerator.
The Frigidaire Building is a building in southeast Portland, Oregon listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was designed by William C. Knighton and Leslie D. Howell and completed in 1929 for Frigidaire, which occupied the building until 1934.
Own some history- Frigidaire.