The Cold Spot
There was a time, when we average, middle-income families could rely on the quality of American products, products that had quality rather than obsolescence built right in. In that train of thought comes the remembrance of our family refrigerator. I think my parents first refrigerator, when they set up house post WWII, was a (Sears) Cold Spot. In 1960, we moved from my parents first home to their second. The refrigerator came with us… But I think my mother wanted a new one.
In 1962 we were visiting my grandmother, (dad’s mom) in Sumner, Illinois. There was a household auction that included a Sears Cold Spot refrigerator. We love auctions; off we went. The refrigerator was only a couple of years old. The refrigerator was plugged in and running so everyone could “check-it-out”. I watched my dad, stand near and lead interested people to “touch” the side of the “frig” and “feel how hot it was”. He planted the seed that something might be wrong with it, it was hot because everyone kept opening the door and making the compressor run!! 🙂 he thinned out the bidders … These units were made with the cooling coils on the rear, outside the housing. The instructions are, “DON’T LAY ON BACK”. We had driven down in our 1963 Chevy Biscayne Station Wagon. This car was big enough for my parents to sit in front, I sat in the back seat AND we laid the five (5) foot frig behind me. Yes, we laid it down on the coils. We took it home and once placed in the kitchen, it ran well. The old cold spot moved to the basement as a pop frig, and later to the rear a store that my mother owned and ran.
My wife and I set up house in 1977 in Minnesota. We needed a refrigerator, and yes, we were given the Sears Cold Spot, we U-Hauled to our first home. Being an early 1960’s unit, automatic defrost was yet to be discovered. We used it until around 1980. My parents, retired, were summering on Leech Lake, in a cabin they leased from a resort. The cabin needed a better refrigerator, we borrowed a neighbors van and hauled this frig up to the lake (again we laid it on its back on the coils) The refrigerator remained there until the cabin was torn down and replaced by a mobile home (in today’s vernacular, a modular unit). My parents gave the refrigerator to the Resort Owners, and it continued cooling until the resort was sold in 2000.
Two things strike me about this….first I think of that frig as a Vagabond -it traveled from southern Illinois to northern Minnesota and the last time I saw it, it was thumbing a ride on Minnesota 371 headed toward International Falls (Live Long and Prosper). Second, is the quality of this American made refrigerator, to have lasted for so long, after having laid on its coils for two trips and traveling almost 1000 miles—–remarkable…
Yep, this was an American made product that had built-in QUALITY.