2.01-7: Kelvinator 1935 Three Tray Cooling Unit for Cabinet Refrigerator

HHCC Accession No. 2003.015HHCC Classification Code: 2.01-7

Three tray, dry evaporator for High-side float, in formed, rolled steel and heavy white porcelain, fast freezing shelf in stainless steel, for household cabinet refrigerator, Kelvinator, 1936.


2.01 Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Evaporators - Household




Klelvinator of Canada, London Ont.

Serial No.:

5x 14x 14’h


18 lbs




Rare snapshot in time, an example of a short-lived materials and construction technique, education, demonstration and research quality

Patent Date/Number:

From York County (York Region) Ontario, once a rich agricultural hinterlands, attracting early settlement in the last years of the 18th century. Located on the north slopes of the Oak Ridges Moraine, within 20 miles of Toronto, the County would also attract early ex-urban development, to be come a wealthy market place for the emerging household and consumer technologies of the early and mid 20th century.

This artifact was discovered in the 1950’s in the used stock of T. H. Oliver, Refrigeration and Electric Sales and Service, Aurora, Ontario, an early worker in the field of agricultural, commercial and consumer technology.

Type and Design:

Fabricated in formed and rolled steel sheet, to form refrigerant passages and twin suction line accumulators, this was an advanced design concept for the mid 1930’s It offered high heat transfer to meet new performance standards and consumer interests.

The stainless steel fast freezing shelf was ahead of its times, as well as being ahead of the manufacturing and materials know-how of the period. The cooling unit was subject to rapid deterioration due to corrosion, as this specimen illustrates.

Special Features:
Performance Characteristics:
Control and Regulation:
Targeted Market Segment:
Consumer Acceptance:

Kelvinator was anxious to promote the frozen food side of a growing consumer interest in new tastes and the conveniences of promoted by modernity. With a fast freezing, direct contact shelf, closed back and evaporator door (not included) this cooling unit was promoted as the gate way to the future (see Kelvinator promotional material of the period)

Market Price:
Technological Significance:

See Technological Significance documentation for THOC-HVACR 014. Like specimen 014, this historical artifact of the Canadian HVACR industry is a remarkable icon of its time, marking a dramatic change in engineering, manufacturing and styling, as the industry geared up to move well beyond its embryonic development years of the 1920’s.

Industrial Significance:

The offering was a significant attempt by Kelvinator and the Canadian refrigeration industry to improve system, cooling and thermodynamic efficiencies, reduce manufacturing costs by investing in new materials, construction and manufacturing technologies, as well as to capture a second market interest in frozen foods.

Socio-economic Significance:
Socio-cultural Significance:

G. Leslie Oliver, The T. H. Oliver HVACR Collection

HHCC Storage Location:
Bibliographic References:

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