3.01-12: Fedders 1938 Compact Automatic Expansion Valve

HHCC Accession No. 2006.058HHCC Classification Code: 3.01-12

A compact, fully adjustable, late pre WW II, automatic expansion valve by a new generation of manufacturers drawn to the now rapidly expanding market for refrigeration and air conditioning products, factory sealed, with inlet screen, Fedders, Model 33, circa 1938.

Image Gallery (2 Images)

3.01 Refrigerant Flow Controls - Household







Serial No.:

Body numbers, 63, 57


4 x 3 x 2 in. h


1.5 lbs.




Exhibit, education, and research quality, illustrating the engineering design, construction, and operating principles of a late, pre WW II, expansion valve produced by a new generation of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment manufacturers

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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, industrial and consumer technology.

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A factory sealed, non-field serviceable expansion valve would seem to mark a new era in the development of expansion valve technology. More confident in the engineering performance and reliability of the product, the manufacturer has been able to reduce costs, and produce a more compact, lighter weight valve, without the need for field service access. Bolted flanges and gaskets have disappeared, with the accompanying risks of refrigerant leaks. The contrast with the construction of valves by Frigidaire a few years earlier is marked. See for example ID # 181, 180.

Industrial Significance:

With the post WW II years would come a profound shift in the structure of the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. A new generation of manufacturers would be drawn to the now rapidly expanding market for refrigeration and air conditioning products. The brand names of Kelvinator and Frigidaire would gradually fade from prominence, as new players, such as Fedders, captured an ever increasing proportion of market share. It has been noted that the name Fedders was associated with the manufacture of automobile radiators in the pre WW II years, a matter to be confirmed. Experienced in finned radiator engineering and assembly would provide such a manufacturer with a possible entry point into the refrigeration and air conditioning business. Shortly after WW II, the Fedders name came to be associated with the manufacturer of name brand window air conditioners, in the late 1940, and 50. A well honoured name, the company still manufactures and markets air treatment and thermal technology products, including air conditioners, de humidifiers air cleaners etc, under a wide range of well known trade marks, including: Emerson, Airtemp, and Trion [Business. Com web site, 050321]

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

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