In 1948, General Electric came out with this refrigerator/freezer with revolving shelves. You can see the full advertisement here:
I am continually surprised at products that DON’T survive. This fridge seems like the PERFECT solution to that bowl of moldy leftovers that got shoved into the back. Why don’t all of our refrigerators have revolving shelves?! The revolving shelf seems like the killer app for the refrigerator world. Why didn’t this feature survive?
Also notice that not one of those bowls of food have plastic wrap or lids on them. Is that just for aesthetics or did no one cover their food in the fridge back in the Forties? Nice to know that potato salad with boiled eggs looked EXACTLY the same as it does now.
Another difference between this fridge and the current ones is the size of the freezer. It’s TINY! The frozen TV dinner was invented in 1945, but it didn’t really catch on and become a fad until the mid-Fifties, so maybe they didn’t need big freezers back then. Or maybe everyone had a separate huge freezer appliance and this one was just for more immediate frozen food needs.
In the end, this refrigerator would fail miserably in present day with no can dispensers for sodas and a freezer that can’t hold even one frozen pizza. Still, I’d love to see a present day refrigerator include revolving shelves. It’s a feature that should have thrived.