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International Harvester Fridge?

January 31, 2021

I have this refridgerator and I've done countless searches, bought THE BOOK on them and can't find it anywhere. The model number normally on these fridges is L100D. This one is L103S and it's no where to be found anywhere in existence. Is it a scrapped model? Pre production model? I don't know but it's a 53. There are hundreds of the other model but none of these. When I search this model number, the 53 truck comes up.

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Was this a freebie that came with a new truck so when you came home with it you could appease the wife?

Any one have one like it? Or know what's going on? It has a butter warmer in the door, an egg tray, and a half freezer... (btw it's fully functional) I even have the diffuse-o-lite!

Answers

February 1, 20210 found this helpful
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I have been giving this a lot of thought. The model exists because it is advertised in a number of places in Canada with that number.

The photo of the door matches another model (if I am looking at all of the features correctly).

Is it possible that you have the L 103 S body and the door from the L 105 DS which is pictured in one of the photos from yesterday. I put up a new photo today showing the interior of the L 103 S.

In all my years of learning and researching collectibles and cool items--I have often found that if you are not the original owner and you come across something that is a mystery, it is often a "frankenpiece"--meaning two or more things mixed together.

I see this in extensively in my doll travels (the head of one on the body of another, dressed in the clothes of a third gal) and in furniture--where "Uncle Three Fingers" the family carpenter did something like chop off dining room table legs to make a coffee table or shortened an adult chair to make it suitable for a child.

Today they are called OOAK (one of a kind) pieces!

If any of the stores that sold them back in the 1950s are still around, maybe someone could tell you if "door swaps" were a thing!

Post back with your thoughts!

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February 1, 20210 found this helpful
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This is still bugging me that no one has found this model. I found more pictures of 1950 models and even checked the 1940 models but the only models that have that style 'freezer' were made in the 40's and they had a freezer at the bottom. Actually, I do not think this model even has a true freezer as the small freezer compartment at the top was always just used for ice trays.

I found this site that has a lot of styles but not this one. Of course, the IH that was used on Friends is the most popular model.
www.google.com/search?q=international%20harvester...

Then I found a link that has the ad that was shown on WorthPoint and was able to download it but after seeing it enlarged it is clear that none of these are this model.
I'm beginning to think that this may have been made at the end of the regular model year and the department decided to use all of their left over parts from previous years and just gave it a 'special' model number. I know they do this with a lot of manufactured items, especially automobiles, and if your car was made at the end of the year it may have parts from the previous year or parts from the next year and this can give mechanics a fit when doing repairs.
I guess I will give up and hope someone else finds something.

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February 2, 20210 found this helpful
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I am so excited to have found it!!

When I was poking around to find it, I noticed that in some places they encouraged the buyer to buy a refrigerator and a freezer (they had both the chest and the uprights) as separate units to maximize storage.

Their ads are all about "feminized" features--that women had a say on what they needed in their kitchen--so maybe that was part of that campaign. It would certainly maximize their profits.

My other thought is that the size you have is just the small (maybe the S stands for Small or Special) made for a small apartment. They seemed to advertise it with one of the bigger models and their ads often said they sold the same "Line" in multiple sizes to meet everyone's needs so maybe the S is Small. Not sure what the other letters would refer to.

I also found one US ad where you bought a refrigerator and they tossed in a kitchenette set (small table and chairs). That was interesting.

Then there are some vendors in the US who told people to come buy from them because they (the store owners) could win a big prize (a trip to a major city) if they sold the most appliances. I think 1953 it was a trip to Vegas or San Francisco. I didn't save those searches.

The company was very creative! I also found ads where you could use fabric to decorate the refrigerator and freezer so they matched your kitchen. That would get dirty fast, I am sure. Yuck!!

Let us know what the company says! You may want to share your findings with the Wisconsin museum I submitted in a previous link. I think they have a ton of material and displays on the company. That confused me a little because I thought they were from Evansville IL, but I could be mixing things up in my brain.

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January 31, 20210 found this helpful

There are a few links to asking questions and trouble shooting for this brand of frig , Because it is a rare piece from the 50's. Here's a start - ask.metafilter.com/.../what-vintage-model-of-international... - and info from this one a appliance blog - www.applianceblog.com/.../early-50s-international-harvester....

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