4.01-7B: Sunbeam 1945 Condensing Unit

HHCC Accession No. 2003.038HHCC Classification Code: 4.01-7B

A later adaptation of the Sunbeam Electric’s, advanced, integrated, open system refrigeration technology, demonstrated in #037, this machine illustrates the market that the technology was able to command over half a decade or more later. Originally engineered for SO2 refrigerant, with an advanced evaporator design in formed and rolled stainless steel, this unit was further up-dated by Howard Oliver, probably in the latter 1940’s, converting it to less toxic methyl chloride refrigerant - the Sunbeam Electric Mfd. Co., Evansville Ind., 1945

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4.01 Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Condensing Units - Household




The Sunbeam Electric Mfd. Co., Evansville Ind.


dual name plates carry different identification data Model SA23 Model 106

Serial No.:

1130590-25 19401


22x 18x 23’h


110 lbs.




Exhibit, education, and research quality demonstrating the advances made in integrated, open, refrigeration systems technology by the mid early 1940’s, even then being by-passed by new, sealed system, hermetic designs.

Patent Date/Number:

1718535 (1930): 1732039 (1930); 1812743 (1932); 1894943 (1933); 20322976 (1937)


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.

Type and Design:

Direct drive, rotary compressor with copper tube and fin single pass air-cooled condenser mounted on insulated bulkhead forming the top of the refrigerated cabinet. Fully formed and rolled stainless steel, evaporator with refrigerated shelf, equipped with closed back, hinged door, for low temperature operation, and automatic expansion valve

Special Features:

A-P automatic expansion valve made in Cooksville Ontario, Model AP207C, a high-tech, miniature valve of the period made for a new generation of chlorinated hydrocarbon refrigerants

Performance Characteristics:
Control and Regulation:
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Consumer Acceptance:
Market Price:
Technological Significance:

Stands as a significant marker in the evolution of cabinet refrigeration systems working towards highly integrated specialised systems, which would increasingly be the norm in the latter part of the century. The so called ‘hermetic’ system with electric motor and compressor sealed in a single shell were already being marketed by Kelvinator and Frigidaire

Industrial Significance:
Socio-economic Significance:
Socio-cultural Significance:

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

HHCC Storage Location:
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