Requiem for a fridge

my fridge

I’ve just said a fond farewell to my trusty Little Fridge, bequeathed to me by my parents in the late 1970s after they themselves had used it for many years. Having had a Jolly Good Innings, it now perhaps belongs in a museum, but I imagine it winging its way to the Paradise of Kitchen Appliances in the Sky, angelically White and Good.

Yakhchal

Yakhchāl of Abarkuh, Iran
—great when you’re mixing caipirinhas, but not so handy for the modern kitchen.

Ice houses were built in Mesopotamia by 1780 BCE, and in China by the 7th century BCE; Persian engineers were building yakhchāls in the desert to capture and store ice by 400 BCE. As often, Europe lagged far behind (see also the wiki article on Refrigerator).

Of course there are older fridges than mine that are still working—like the one from 1949 praised here. But without getting all sentimental or luddite about this Benighted Age of Disposability of ours, it’s satisfying that it’s been able to cater for my modest needs all these years.

Since ordering household appliances is not something associated with someone of my temperament, I am reminded of Alan Bennett’s remarks, as well as Henry James’s “hideous encounters with domestic necessity“. For more on my occasional forays to the kitchen, click here. And for less mundane Requiems, see e.g. Mozart and Buxtehude.

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