They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To
In the basement laundry room of the family farm home is a refrigerator like the one pictured above. The International-Harvester deepfreeze is a few feet away, under the stairwell. A farm equipment company, IH began making refrigeration appliances in 1947, but only manufactured them for a few years before selling the division off. At $700 for a freezer, the price was out of reach for most households.
Both are at least 50 years old. My grandparents purchased the freezer used in the mid 1950’s and sold it to my dad in 1965. Its colourful history includes rescue from a house fire through timely intervention with a chainsaw through an exterior wall. Both appliances continue to function as well as the day they were built.
|It is nearly impossible for a woman of my size to move an IH refrigerator by herself. The new Sears Kenmore I bought a couple of years ago (to replace the leaky harvest gold 70’s model that came with the house) weighs about as much as a styrofoam box.
Then again – nobody ever had to move an International freezer because it quit working.
Five decades of hard-won technological advances have cut the weight, energy consumption and functioning lifespan of kitchen appliances like these by two-thirds.
I don’t know that this is progress.