Alternative name: fridge.
Kelvinator refrigerator unit cased in a Cherry & Sons zinc-lined, wooden cabinet with a Crompton Parkinson external refrigeration unit. The refrigerator was made by Kelvinator in the USA, the wooden cabinet was manufactured for Kelvinator by Cherry & Sons of Gisborne, Victoria , Australia and the refrigeration unit was made by Crompton Parkinson, Australia circa 1934.

It is believed that the compression unit is a later addition to this refrigerator. The zinc-lined unit manufactured by Cherry & Sons, resembles a dry-air syphon refrigeration system common at the turn of the 20th century. By the mid-1920s, Kelvinator was manufacturing self-contained electric refrigerators, which indicates this refrigerator unit pre-dates this era. The compression unit has a patent date of 1934 on the compression unit indicating it is not contemporary with the refrigerator.

Kelvinator was the first company in the US to go into full-scale production of domestic refrigerators, commencing around 1914. By 1923, Kelvinator controlled 80% of the US refrigeration market. The 1930s represents an early period in the evolution of the domestic refrigerator when fridges were designed to blend in with the general furniture in the house. Hence this fridge took the form of a cabinet. The design of its doors and hinges are reminiscent of those that could be found on a typical kitchen or dining cabinet of the time.

Physical Description

A wooden unit upon an external, electric powered motor. FRONT: upper centre, metal disk applied. Doors: 3 , 1 full-height on right, 2 on left. All hinged at right with decorative hinge plates and brackets. HANDLES - D-shaped with lever locking mechanism. BACK: sealed with metal/ copper piping and electrical cord emanating from small hole upper right. INTERIOR: compartments and doors lined with metal sheeting. Green baize seal around doors. Behind right door, 1 compartment with 2 removable wire shelves. Behind bottom left door, single compartment with metal tray on base. Behind upper left door, top right temperature dial, black dial on black metal plate. FREEZER COMPARTMENT - 2 shallow compartments for ice trays; 1 tray and two cube inserts in compartments. A metal disk applied to top of freezer unit. REFRIGERATION UNIT: coiled piping around air conditioning unit and motor, seated upon a wooden platform with four tapering triangular, metal legs. The support painted a green/ grey metallic colour.

More Information

  • Collecting Areas

    Home & Community

  • Acquisition Information

    Bequest from Dr R. R. Wettenhall, 06 Feb 1968

  • Manufacturer

    Crompton Parkinson (Aust) Pty Ltd, Australia, circa 1934
    Compression Unit patent 1934.

  • Manufacturer

    Kelvinator, United States of America
    Refrigeration components.

  • Maker

    Cherry & Sons, Gisborne, Victoria, Australia
    Maker of Cabinet.

  • Inscriptions

    FRONT: disk "MANUFACTURED/ EXPRESSLY FOR Kelvinator (in script)/ BY CHERRY & SONS/ PTY. LTD/ GISBORNE". FREEZER COMPARTMENT - around temperature dial "OFF (downward arrow) DEFROST WARMER NORMAL COLDER/ (arrow)". On metal disk "KELVINATOR/ Trade Mark Reg in U.S. Pat Off and Foreign Countries/ TANK UNIT SIZE 8 10/ TANK SERIAL NO 81532/ MANUFACTURED IN U.S.A. BY/ KELVINATOR CORPORATION, DETROIT MICHIGAN". REFRIGERATION UNIT: on disk applied to compressor "CROMPTON PARKINSON/ (AUST) PTY LTD/ A. C. MOTOR/ PATENT NO. 15916 1/11/34 / MODEL P71A/ M/c No 525/ B.H.P. 1/3/ RPM 1435/ VOLTS 220/230/ AMPS 3/ 1 PHASE 50 CYCLES/ RATING CONT." Smaller disk applied below "SUPPLIED BY/ NOYES BROS/ (MELB) LTD"

  • Brand Names

    Cherry (Butter Making Eqiupment)

  • Classification

    Domestic life, Food & drink preservation, Appliances - electric

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • Overall Dimensions

    51.5 cm (Length), 90.5 cm (Width), 101.7 cm (Height)
    Refrigerator cabinet without Compressor Unit.

  • Other Dimensions

    31 cm (Length), 25.5 cm (Width), 27.5 cm (Height)
    Freezer Compartment

  • Other Dimensions

    39.5 cm (Length), 76.7 cm (Width), 50 cm (Height)
    Compressor Unit

  • Other Dimensions

    6.5 cm (Length)
    Door depth

  • Keywords

    Electric Appliances, Household Appliances, Refrigeration