8.03-3: O'keefe's 1936 O'keefe's Bubbling Waters (Empty 4 Gal. Bottle)

HHCC Accession No. 2003.077HHCC Classification Code: 8.03-3

An historic marker of the early years of mechanical refrigeration in Canada and the flood of excitement it produced through the marketing of fresh new tastes and life experiences, a large, glass bottle [approximately 4 gallons, now empty] of O’Keefe’s bubbling waters, embossed with the company name and trademark, and with original paper sticker, O’Keefe’s, circa1936


8.03 Other Refrigerating and Air conditioning Components and Parts - NEC




O’Keefe’s, Torornto

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11’ dia x 21 ‘ h


14 lbs.




Exhibit, education, and research quality, telling the many stories of the fresh new tastes and life experiences which were launched by the Canadian mechanical refrigeration industry in its embryonic and early development years in Canada. In the 1930’s .

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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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By the early 1930’s it was clear that household refrigeration allowed new things to happen, and fresh new experiences in the home. It was, in fact, recognized even by the late 1920’s that the refrigerator in the kitchen was much more than a mere technology of practical advantage, of mere utility with possible implications for time and energy saving and for health and hygiene (ref. p. 34).

It was, almost from the outset seen and promoted, like household radio of the period (both in their embryonic and early developmental phases), as an “experiential” technology, one allowing and facilitating above all new human experience. The household refrigerator brought with it into the home many new cultural meanings to be explored by the family.

Learning Content:

  1. new tastes,
  2. greater range of foods and gastronomic experiences,
  3. potential for creative and elaborated menus, and
  4. new opportunities and challenges for the home maker in caring for family.

Major socio-cultural theme to be elaborated


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

HHCC Storage Location:
Bibliographic References:

Memo from L. Oliver to Thierry Ruddel, senior curator, National Museum of Science and Technology, Dec 12, 1995


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