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2009/81/1 Frigidaire electric stove, with Cook-Master clock, model RCD 264, serial number 625895, metal, made by Frigidaire Division of General Motors-Holden's Limited, Dandenong, Victoria, Australia, 1960-1968. Click to enlarge.

Frigidaire electric stove

Made
The purchase of a refrigerator company by an automobile manufacturer is seen as an extraordinary amalgamation. To maintain that amalgamation for sixty years is even more extraordinary. One can presume that there is economic sense in broadening a manufacturing base into two major markets - domestic and commercial appliances and automobiles. Generally automobile manufacturers have broadened their economic base by creating companies that have a relationship to the core business such as a finance …

Summary

Object No.

2009/81/1

Object Statement

Frigidaire electric stove, with Cook-Master clock, model RCD 264, serial number 625895, metal, made by Frigidaire Division of General Motors-Holden's Limited, Dandenong, Victoria, Australia, 1960-1968

Physical Description

Electric stove, Frigidaire, metal, made by General Motors-Holden's Limited, Dandenong, Victoria, Australia, 1960-1968

Four coil element electric upright stove (electric range) with clock/timer in left hand side of raised back panel which also houses the six rheostat controls for the elements, oven and warming drawer. The stove is enamelled white. The cook top hinges at the rear to expose the underside of the elements and the fuses. The oven has a bottom hinged glass panelled door with a black and chrome handle and the warming drawer at the bottom has a chromed metal handle.

Marks

On the back panel facia "Product of General Motors-Holden's"; Beneath the clock "Cook-Master"; beneath the left hand switch on the facia beneath the clock "Light" and beneath the adjacent right hand switch and red light "warming drawer".

Dimensions

Height

1210 mm

Width

665 mm

Depth

710 mm

Weight

50 kg

Production

Made

Notes

This stove, Frigidaire model RCD 264, serial number 625895, was produced by the Frigidaire Division of General Motors-Holden's Limited at their plant at Dandenong in Victoria. The Dandenong plant opened in 1956 on 60 hectares of land purchased by GMH in 1951. The Frigidaire Division, producing stoves and refrigerators, operated alongside the building producing automobiles. This Division was relocated to New Zealand in the late 1960s.

According to a short article in the Australian Motor Manual, December 1, 1958, p.7, manufacture of refrigerators and stoves had begun at Dandenong by this stage and were "...to be released soon" suggesting either a very late 1958 or an early 1959 release for the first production units.

Ian Debenham
Curator, Transport
2009

History

Notes

William Crapo Durant, Founder and President of General Motors in the United States from 1915 to 1920, purchased the Guardian Refrigerator Company of Detroit, Michigan with his own money in 1918. This company was struggling to survive having produced its first self-contained electric refrigerator in 1916 but selling only 40 in its first two years. General Motors purchased the refrigerator company from Durant and renamed it Frigidaire. By introducing mass production and sales techniques based on the automobile model the company began to show a profit in 1924.

Over time the company branched out into the design and manufacture of a variety of domestic appliances as well as their commercial equivalents. The range included air conditioners, clothes washers and dryers, dish washers and stoves. Manufacture of refrigerators and freezers by the Frigidaire Division in the Southern Hemisphere began at Petone in Wellington, New Zealand's Hutt Valley area in 1938. From 1951 the Frigidaire plant increased in size followed by a further expansion in 1952 and from 1954 to 1957 improvements to the Frigidaire manufacturing facility were carried out. It seems that the demand for Frigidaire products, probably world-wide, was outstripping the supply from New Zealand at this stage as manufacture of Frigidaire products began at Dandenong, Victoria in Australia in 1958 and continued there until the late 1960s when it was transferred to New Zealand to coincide with the opening of the Trentham plant, allowing the Petone plant to concentrate on the manufacture of Frigidaire products, assembly of commercial vehicles and the manufacture of spark plugs, oil filters and axle tubes for export to Australia.

In 1979, following a decade of falling profitability Frigidaire was sold to White Consolidated Industries who sold it in 1986 to AB Electrolux of Sweden.

The stove, manufactured at Dandenong, was purchased by an employee (name unknown) of General Motors-Holden's Pagewood, Sydney facility and used by him until his death in about 2004.

Sources: http://www.holden.co.nz/heart/heritage/
http://www.frigidaire-intl.com/history.asp
http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Frigidaire-Home-Products-Company-History.html

Ian Debenham
Curator, Transport
2009

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Stephen Blazun, 2009

Acquisition Date

14 October 2009

Cite this Object

Harvard

Frigidaire electric stove 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 28 November 2022, <https://ma.as/396877>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/396877 |title=Frigidaire electric stove |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=28 November 2022 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}