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General Electric Refrigerator Compressor

General Electric Refrigerator Compressor Advertising Button Museum
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"Monitor Top" electric compression domestic refrigerator, with compressor mounted in circular unit on top of fridge, by B.T.H. (General Electric), supplied by the International Refrigerator Co. of London, made in the USA, 1934
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White illustration of a refrigerator compressor on a blue background

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General Electric (GE) was incorporated in 1892, when they acquired Edison General Electric Company and The Thomson-Houston Company. Thomas Edison created the Edison General Electric Company to combine his businesses and to market his incandescent lamp. 

In 1927, GE debuted the "Monitor Top" refrigerator. The device was affectionately called the "Monitor Top" by the public because it resembled a turret on the Civil War gunship, the Monitor. The "Monitor Top" was designed by Chief Engineer Christian Steenstrup. Its unconventional design with it being made out of steel and being placed on top of the refrigerator was popular with consumers. GE is now known to have business in finance, infrastructure, health care, and several other fields.


Gantz, C. G.E. Top Refrigerator. Industrial Design History. Retrieved from:

Thomas Edison & The History of Electricity. GE. Retrieved from:

Tikkanen, A. General Electric. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved from:


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