Friday, October 17, 2014

Leonard Refrigerators and Northern Electric

I stopped at a yard sale a while ago, and the owner had to proudly show me his Leonard beer fridge, still working fine:

Charles Leonard founded the Grand Rapids Refrigerator Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1881.  The company entered the electrical fridge market in 1918, and 7 years later their success was such that they were making one out of five fridges in the U.S.  At one time, the company claimed to have the largest refrigerator plant in the world.  In 1926, the company was purchased by the Electric Refrigerator Corporation,  adding it  to the Kelvinator and the Nizer Corporations.  The company became Kelvinator-Leonard.  In 1936, the company merged with Nash Motors form the Nash-Kelvinator Company.  When Nash merged with Hudson in 1954, Kelvinator became a division of the American Motors Corporation. In 1968, Kevinator was purchased by White Consolidated Industries, which was gobbled up by the Swedish Electrolux company in the early 1980's.  

Somewhere along the line the Leonard name disappeared.  From the pictures above, though, it appears that its products were made in Canada by the Northern Electric Company, later known as Nortel.

Source:  The Vintage Appliance Forum
BTW, ever wondered why the short form of "refrigerator" is "fridge" with a "d"?  Check out Grammarphobia for the answer.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Because of how you would pronounce "frig" standing alone