American Beauties: 25 vintage stoves and refrigerators from readers’ kitchens

1961-Hotpoint-Fridge-&-Stove-aquaReader recently uploaded 208 pictures of antique stoves, refrigerators and other major kitchen appliances – and in this story, I had fun trying to pick out my favorites. These photos show that retro kitchens come in many design flavors. Above: April’s 1961 kitchen — with its lovely blue Hotpoint refrigerator and stove — is sleek and modern — but friendly at the same time. Droooooooool.

1963-Aqua-kitchenCool and colorful

Out of all the appliances that were uploaded, the colorful stoves, ranges, vent hoods just had me squealing with delight. Aqua, pink, brown, green — I love them all. Above: Anonymous’ 1963 kitchen, complete with turquoise and bronze starburst flecked countertops.

Betty-Crafter-Tuq-stove-knotty-pine-kitchenAbove: Reader and fellow blogger Betty Crafter’s swoon-worthy aqua stove in her knotty pine kitchen — complete with aqua laminate countertops. We’re a huge fan of Betty’s kitchen — which we have featured before.

Aqua-dual-level-stoveAbove: This reader also has an aqua stove and aqua countertops just a slightly lighter shade. I’m loving how the vintage stove meshes with the metal cabinets and funky pulls — retrolicious! [Pam interjects: I think this kitchen  is one of Bizarro Twin Pam's six kitchens.]

Pink-fridigaire-double-oven-susie-OThen there is the pink — ohhh the pink! I think Susie O’s pink kitchen above might just be my dream kitchen — a pink Frigidaire Custom Imperial Double Oven and a dishwasher — is your fridge pink, too, Susie?

1960s-GE-wall-oven-pinkSince my kitchen doesn’t have room for a full range, I’d settle for this cute, original 1960′s GE pink wall oven, above — love the pink laminate countertops, too, we need a close up!

1970-avocado-wall-ovenMore a fan of the 1970s? This avocado green wall oven from Frigidaire might just do the trick. “I love the fonts,” says anonymous uploader.

Western Holly stoveI’ll admit — I’m not usually a fan of brown appliances — but reader Adam’s super built-in Western Holly range (complete with cute owl decor) might just change my mind. I’m really digging the circular oven window.

1960s-flair-with-70s-avocado-cabinetAnother reader whose stove (and kitchen) made me happy was Wendy’s 1960′s Frigidaire Flair with 1970′s avocado green cabinet. Wendy — your kitchen is fabulous and your stove is the crowning glory.

Wonderful whites

1949-Kenmore-StoveAbove: Reader Jeff’s 1949 Kenmore stove is pretty awesome — as is his cookware collection. He topped it all off with one heck of a cool aqua range hood complete with silver starbursts. His cabinets and pulls are tiki-tastic too.

1950s-Roper-Stove-Speaking about cool handles, check out the handles on Heather’s 1950′s Roper stove that she found on Freecycle — for free. What a score Heather!

1960s-Westinghouse-2-level retro stoveHere’s another 1960′s Westinghouse 2 level stove — just as cool in white. I didn’t realize there was an outlet on it until just now — is that safe?

O'Keefe-&-Merrit-stoveAbove: Reader JoAnn’s vintage white O’Keefe & Merrit stove looks so pretty in her house. My favorite part is the red knobs and handles and the cool work light (that is a work light, right?). JoAnn — you have quite the snazzy house.

1930s-Spark-Stove-Here’s another gem, Chutti’s 1930′s spark stove — which looks to be in perfect condition. They just don’t make ‘em like they used to, do they?

Fabulous Fridges

1934-White-Seal-Ice-BoxPerhaps a perfect pair to Chutti’s Spark stove — the 1934 White Seal Ice Box above also looks to be in mint condition too.

1967-ltd-edition-Sears-Coldspot-by-Sundberg-FerarAbove: The 1967 Limited Edition Sears Coldspot Designed by Sundberg-Ferar is cool to begin with. What makes it arctic level cool? The fridge came with a nameplate inscribed for the original owner — Flora. She was a Scottish schoolteacher according to the fridge’s new owner, reader 52 PostnBeam.

60s-GE-Combo-fridgeAbove: Reader Amy F’s Mid 60′s GE Combination Fridge with turquoise and yellow interior and swing out shelves. We’d love to see pictures of that interior Am — and the exterior is lovely.

1962-GE-Fridge-inside retroReader Ann-Marie Meyers wasn’t afraid to open up her 1962 GE Fridge to show us how cool the insides are. (Though it could be because it is empty)

Philco-fridge-vintageGailsmile was also kind enough to open up her retro Philco fridge — love the aqua accents on the inside.

JD-Log-Crosely-Shelvador-10And here’s a really brave reader — who let us peek inside their fridge with food inside! JD Log’s Crosley Shelvador “10″ is not your typical Crosley — this is the Australian version — complete with Vegemite in the yellow jar!

Restored-Fridge-and drier retroT&J from This Atomic Life has two restored retro cool appliances in their London apartment. A vintage Frigidaire with the most awesome handle ever and this super neat Tumblair clothes drier.

Alli's-1938-HotpointAll of these cool refrigerators are making me sad that they just don’t design new appliances with all these fun details anymore. Reader Ali’s 1938 Hotpoint oozes cool — look at all that chrome!

Crazy Chrome

1956-Caloric-Gas-stovetop

There were loads of Chrome-tastic details sprinkled throughout your vintage large appliances. In particular, I loved Peggy W’s 1956 Caloric stovetop — check out those knobs. They look like little radios built right into the cabinet.

Ultramatic-Caloric-Stovetop

Here’s another fabulous Ultramatic Caloric stovetop with knobs in front — this looks great with the steel trimmed retro laminate counters!

Tappan-Fabulous-400 vintage stove

Michelle in Iowa’s Tappan Fabulous 400 is a shiny space-saver indeed. I can imagine baking something in that fabulous oven, just sitting back and admiring this cool retro stove while I wait for my cake to rise.

Readers — you’ve really blown me away with this one! I’m so glad to see so many of you are loving, using and maintaining your vintage large appliances. In today’s world full of streamlined, energy efficient stoves and refrigerators it is easy to believe that “upgrading” to a shiny new appliance is the thing to do, but honestly — what the cool old appliances might lack in technology they more than make up for with their charming and quirky design.

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Comments

  1. JP says

    HI There…

    Stumbled upon your site trying to find resources for my 50′s roper gas stove. Then I saw you had posted a photo above of a contributor “Heather” who acquired a 50′s Roper from freecycle.

    I HAVE THIS EXACT! It was in my house when I bought it and its my daily use range! Works like a champ. Model 52D13NN

    I was wondering if you could connect me with Heather to see if she has found any ad’s or owners manuals for our stove? Thanks in advance. If not…do you have sources for old manuals other than ebay? Thanks.

    Your site is fantastic :-)

  2. ChrisF says

    Hello! I have a working 1960s cotton-candy-pink GE wall oven available. If you’re interested, please make me an offer. I’m in Arizona & willing to ship!

  3. says

    I have a 1967 Tappan Fabulous 400 electric stove in Sterling Heights Michigan. I want to upgrade my kitchen and am willing to sell this. Everything works great on it. I am putting together a webpage about it.

  4. Pat in Nebraska says

    I have a 1960′s Westinghouse 2 level stove in the Coppertone color (like the one you have pictured in the White color.) Mine doesn’t have an outlet on it though, but, it does have the clock. I have looked high and low for information about this stove and am so happy to have FINALLY found one like the one I have. Was this stove considered a “drop in” in today’s terms?? My oven no longer works and I don’t know just what kind of stove I want as a replacement, since getting a “freestanding” stove will require some alterations because of the way this stove “sits in” to my counter area (back and sides like the one pictured) and a “drop in” or “slide in” model(s) are a lot more expensive. Anyone have any suggestions??

  5. Barb Woj says

    We have a 1940′s era Roper 4 burner/one oven stove that has never been used. Parts are still in plastic. The metal around the clock is pinkish in color. Do you have any info on where to sell this or how much it is worth?

  6. Devon says

    I can get a Big Chill fridge in the Lemonade Pink for $1,000 with ice maker. It is a store demo that is now out of business as of yesterday. I only have this week to decide. Any thoughts, comments, advice?

  7. Debbie says

    Hello,
    I just bought a house built in 1971 and it comes with a completely unused Frigidaire wall oven and matching stove, I would love to keep them, but when we tested the oven, it heated on the outside as well as the inside. Does anyone know how to insulate such an oven? Or was that just the way they worked back then? My dad had a very similar oven and I don’t remember it getting so hot on the outside, although you could tell it was a bit warm.
    Any remedy out there??

    Debbie

    • pam kueber says

      See our FAQ, Debbie. There is a story about other online places that might be able to help you. Good luck.

  8. Verna says

    Hi, I hope it’s not too late but Dear Reader Jeff, where did you get that Aqua hood and do you have any details? I just bought an Aqua O’keefe and Merritt cook top and oven combo and I MUST HAVE a hood!!! I would appreciate any info you have. I love the starbursts! And you cabinets too. thanks!

  9. Danielle J says

    Hi,
    I am so glad I found your blog!
    I grew up in a mid century modest house that my granddaddy built in 1951. When I was a kid it still had the black speckled linoleum kitchen floor, white and blue starburst counters, beautiful built in sliding door cabinets ( that he built by hand of course) and avocado double oven, range, fridge, and dishwasher. It was so cool. Of course my grandma thought it was so out dated. The cabinets are still there and so are the countertops but the avocado appliances are long gone as is the linoleum :(
    We recently bought a 1925 bungalow but have decided to do a mid century modest style decor / renovation. The kitchen will probably be the last thing we do because we had to do a basic renovation to it before we moved in just to get it in usable condition. ( the house was a foreclosure) I will definitely be coming here for design ideas though. We are probably going to do the bathroom first so I am definitely looking here for inspiration on that too.
    Thanks for sharing your home and creative brain!
    Danielle

  10. Colleen Shannon says

    I Just bought a town house built in 1967.There is a cooktop with four burners over 2 cupboards and the knobs for turning on are on the right. The oven is about eye level. There is a fan, stainless about 4 inches deep and as wide as the oven above the oven that you pull out and when you pull it out the fan goes on. it looks like the cooktop is connected to the oven, there is a stainless steel piece in the back. Someone said it might be an “All in One? Has anyone seen this? Or know what it is called? it all works!

  11. says

    I HAVE A SHELVADOR FRIDGE I RECENTLY PURCHASED.I CAN NOT FIND THE CORRECT MODLE.THE NAME PLATE SAYS JAMES N KIRBY,SERIAL NO. RK 11-67.THIS IS AN AUSTRALIAN FRIDGE AND HAS A WATER DISPENSER ON FRONT DOOR.IF ANYONE CAN ASSIST ME WITH CORRECT YEAR MODLE OR WHERE I CAN GET PARTS ,IT WOULD BE MUCH OF A HELP.THANKS BARRY.

    • J D Log says

      Hi Barry the Crosley featured is my 1957 model does your one look like this one apart from the water dispenser. If I saw a picture of it I could pick the approximate year.
      The water dispenser models were top of the line but are now quite rare as they developed leaks and the doors would rust out. Modern thermostats can be used to replace the originals if needed. Kirby distributed Crosley fridges and a/c units from 50-60′s they also did industrial compressors (my father knew Mr Kirby snr) they are now out of business.
      New compressors can be adapted to these but only have a life span of 5-10 years. I have a 1959-60 Crosley 8 these use the same compressor which I would rip out if the 57 compressor died.
      What I recommend is get a similar working model for spares start it up once a month to keep the spare one going. If you are in Sydney I can recommend my fridge guy who has been working on Crosley since 1966.
      If Pam can pass your info to me or a versa we can discuss this offline hope this info helps

  12. Gretchen says

    I love that Tapan 400. I had that back in the very late 1960s and early 70s. It was used when we got it. I had it in a rent house. Loved that the burners and cutting board slid in when not in use. I was so sad the day we sold that to move into a tract home. I would have seriously loved to have it up and running in the garage. I have missed that Tapan for the last 45 years!! Couldn’t believe I found a picture of it so easily! Thanks for posting it :)

  13. Ashleigh says

    Ok, so I am currently on a mission for a range for my 1941 Michigan Bungalow. The previous owner said the wall where my current range stands was empty with no cabinets when she moved in. I assume because it had a big ol oven on it at one point. So I am looking for either a late 30′s early 40′s Chambers type oven, or a 50′s rounded chromed out beauty. I have gas currently, and have had (newer) electric in the past. I just found an electric kelvinator that is absolutely beautiful. I love to bake, and use my oven for roasts. My question is, how are these older electric stoves with day to day use?

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