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63 years in its original box — uncovering this rare 1955 kitchen appliance

frigidaire fold down stoveA rare and wonderful 1955 Frigidaire Fold-Back Cooking Unit — New Old Stock, still in its original packaging — complete with starbursty decoration, oh my word. Anyone gonna go for it?

vintage frigidaire stoveI heard directly from the seller, William, on this one. The unit is for sale on craigslist in Geneva, New York, for $850, and includes a spare used one, for parts. Be aware, dear readers, that old stuff may contain hazards, not be to code, need new wiring even if it’s NOS, etc., so be sure to get with your own properly licensed professional to assess what you are working with so you can Be Safe/Renovate Safe.  

frigidaire controlsThe listing says:

Unit (two burners) brand new in the box. We also have a second unit that was used and can be rebuilt or used for parts. If interested please email form more information. 

frigidaire new old stock

Manufactured in 1955, these stylish units fold back when not in use to give the owner more counter space. Would be a great addition to any retro kitchen with a 50’s or 60’s look. 

These are very rare. One unit is new in the box!!!! The new in the box unit when turning the knobs, the indicators are not moving up and down. Unsure if this is a easy fix or not. Since we are selling these units for another person we will not attempt to repair, diagnose, or disassemble them in any way. They are being sold as is! We cannot confirm functions on the USED unit other than the indicators move when knobs are turned. Price is for both units. 

Thanks for looking!

vintage fold down electric burners in bonnies 1950s kitchen
Another design from this story on the blog.

And so I asked the seller for more info. Lane, manager at an upstate New York appliance store, quickly replied:

Pam,
Your article is great!  I knew when I stumbled on your gem of a website this morning that you shared our interest in seeing items like this put to use!  Our appliance business has been in Geneva, NY for over 40 years.  A neighboring hardware store is going out of business after more than 80 years.  They were a Frigidaire dealer for decades and when they stopped selling appliances put these items in storage.  We offered to help find a home for these wonderful units.  Our hopes are to sell them for the owner and hopefully see at least the one installed in a retro kitchen so we can show him it went to good use.  

Thank you so much for spot lighting our items on your site and sharing a link to our craigslist ad.  

-Lane
Frigidaire-flip-out-stove-top
And in this story too.

Linky loo where to get it? Who’s gonna????

  • New Old Stock 1955 Frigidaire Fold-Back Cooking Unit

  1. Whisky says:

    I have two of these in my home that still work. I also have two of the french door ovens pictured in the CL ad photos that are stacked. Both function but the clock mechanisms are dead. If anyone has info on maintenance I’d appreciate it.

    1. David in Marietta says:

      I actually have an early 60s G E turquoise stove which had a dead clock. I found another clock on an early G E oven that someone was getting rid of at an estate sale. The clock worked so I had my electrician switch them out. Been working fine for 6 years.

  2. KarenC says:

    My parents built their split level home in 1957 and we had at least 4 in a row on our counter top. They were very cool-looking.

  3. Mark says:

    When shopping for a new house last year I looked a great 1955 house that had these in the kitchen, I wanted the house because of them! Of course my agent didn’t get it and told me I would have to ‘gut the kitchen’. He finally understood the appeal after showing me older houses.
    (I ended up with a great Roman brick ’57 ranch!)

  4. KennyT123 says:

    I know–especially during the 50’s when innovation was running rampant!!!!. Repairing them, if ever, looks super easy since it’s basically one cable running under it (I think it is wrapped in asbestos). Those radiantubes are pretty heavy duty as well. Cleaning them may be a little difficult since you have to unscrew some things to get to it, but when I saw one it was love at first sight.

  5. Steve H says:

    Seldom are things both this cool AND practical. No reaching over one pan to get to another. No cookware handles hanging past the countertop. Extra counter space. Stays cleaner when not in use. You really have to wonder why ideas like this fell by the wayside.

  6. Marilyn says:

    I just wish I had a retro Kitchen or even a Kitchen these could go into. They are so cool I wish I could see an image of a real Kitchen with them used. These are gorgeous.

  7. Allison says:

    Antique appliances are an addiction.

    “Hello, my name is Allison and I own a 1962 Frigidaire Flair”
    chorus “Hello, Allison!”

    A cool find, Pam; hope this beauty ends up in a forever home.

    1. KennyT123 says:

      Hello Allison!!!!!!!–I lost my flair awhile ago in a move and I think of it often. However, now it just won’t fit–my pink GE oven helps me forget–LOL and the foldups are just dandy.

      BTW, to clarify I have four fold-ups but I only have one hooked up right now 🙂

      1. Allison says:

        Hello Kenny!!

        With a fold-a-way range top and a pink oven, you’re a man to be envied. 🙂

        Mid century technology was so much more inventive and courageous in many ways. In those years, range tops folded back or pushed in or were tucked over the refrigerator to maximize working room.
        Nowadays, if you need extra counter space in your kitchen, you’re supposed to put a 500 sq ft addition complete with restaurant-size range and reefer. *shrug* So much for innovation.

        1. KennyT123 says:

          Oh Allison, I know. People do this stuff and then “downsize” to a smaller house later–this is why the tiny house movement is catching on. With imagination and careful planning you just don’t need all that extra space. I’d rather have a small house and garden that I can stay in always. I’ve even seen murphy beds making a comeback. My 1940s Philco fridge is just the right size for me. If you’re always buying fresh what’s with all the big boxy stuff that lasts just a few years–or until the warranty expires. Plus if you ever want to paint you only need one can–LOL.

          1. Mary Elizabeth says:

            Your mention of the tiny house movement caught my attention–wouldn’t these fold-up burners be just PERFECT for a tiny house?

  8. KennyT123 says:

    I wouldn’t let the indicators being stuck deter you–after 63 years in one position, I bet the plate just needs adjustment. The indicator is one large piece that moves freely up and down when you turn the dial. The control is an infinite burner setting–meaning you turn it clockwise and counter clockwise without pushing in. Once the indicator gets to the top the next turn clockwise drops it back down to the off position. Also, I believe there is a safety feature that turns the unit off when it’s folded up. It’s a basic box with two burners and controls–not that complicated. DIYers may want to give servicing a try. I’m sure there’s a mom and pop repair shop that can help with any questions. Antique Appliances also had one on their Facebook page that they restored awhile back. Just remember, these things were built to last–any electrician can give it a once over if your’e hesitant to buy–but for the sheer “WOW” factor–you can’t beat this. I think there’s conversation on AutomaticWasher.org where people who have these won’t part with them–they’re that good. I just happen to have four of them–LOL.

  9. KennyT123 says:

    I have these units in my kitchen. They work great and are ahead of their time. When folded back they only stick out five inches–who doesn’t want extra counter space!!!! My electrician hooked them up with no problem at all. The radiantubes are the same as what’s available on ebay if you should ever need a replacement. I’m sure appliance stores have NOS ones as well. The only place I could put a cooktop and vent it to the outside was adjacent to the kitchen entrance so I couldn’t have an oven door open there. (a Flair, yes since the doors opened up). It’s amazing how much available counter space you get with these. I was going to purchase the NIB but for the price I thought it was too high for something to keep as a spare. Wouldn’t it be cool for an appliance manufacturer to produce these with induction burners–since the cooktop doesn’t get too hot, I’m sure a metal box with a folding mechanism could work just as great as these originals–Whirlpool, Frigidaire, Maytag et al–are you listening?????

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