This has been the summer of appliance troubles in our household. Our whole house fan went kaput (back when we were hitting over 90 degrees every day and really needed it!), our water heater decided we needed more cold showers, and now our fridge has decided that cold food is over-rated. I’ve been to Beavers twice today picking up several bags of ice at a time to try to keep our food cool till a repair person can get here tomorrow.

As I sat down to start working on the History Now newsletter, I thought perhaps I’d dig up an ad for an ice box to grace the beginning of the August events list. Instead I found a few ads that won’t really work there, but I still thought I’d share them here.

This Meyer’s Iceless Refrigerator ad is from the July 31, 1907 Fort Collins Courier.

I’d love to know more about how the Meyers Iceless Refrigerator worked. You set it on your porch (in July, no less) and I’m guessing the water evaporates and cools the food? Evaporative coolers (AKA swamp coolers) are great, but would it really be enough to keep the veggies crisp on a hot day?

This advertisement for Calumet is from the October 9, 1917 Loveland Daily Herald.

This isn’t a refrigerator ad, but it does mention putting your biscuit dough in the ice box to use for breakfast the next day. And I’m guessing that’s the ice box in the top right that the little Calumet kid is putting biscuits into.

Was it really a big deal to make a big batch of biscuit dough and be able to set some aside for the next day? Wow. We are so, so spoiled these days. Now you can buy tubes of biscuit dough that were probably made weeks, if not months, earlier.

Peaches, in October? This ad is from the October 9, 1917 Loveland Daily Herald.

I couldn’t resist grabbing a copy of this ad for peaches. I’ve never heard of Fall Peaches. Our tree, when it does produce (which isn’t often these days — thank you late frosts, hail, and squirrel infestations), is always done by the end of August at the very latest. Are there really peach trees that produce in October?!!!

And look at those prices! I spent $50 on a box of peaches from the Farmers Market, which came out to just over a buck a peach. In 1917, you could get a whole crate for less than the cost of one peach today. Jimmy Crickets!

As you grab some milk for your cereal in the morning, take a moment to appreciate how cool and refreshing it is, thanks to your lovely, modern iceless refrigerator.