The Old Appliance Club

The Old Appliance Club

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TOAC Shop:  Parts, Service, Information for Antique Stoves

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Media Interviews with TOAC where Everything Old Is New Again!


Mark Hetts, "Mr. Handyperson" ... Sunday, November 17, 2002

Mark Hetts, Universal Press Syndicated Columnist, also known to  thousands of readers across America and Canada as "Mr. Handyperson" enlightens us with useful, practical and good value gifts for the holidays, including membership to The Old Appliance Club -

Read  Mark Hetts column at:


CNN NewsNet,  PBS- The History Channel,  The New York Times... Face of a Classic, Chicago Tribune...Lighting the stove with a match is eliminated, The Miami Herald ...older is often better, Detroit Free Press ...aged but elegant, The Billings Gazette...The Wall Street Journal...vintage appliance buffs on Refrigerators, The Appliance Doctor Radio Show... Jack Santoro’s Antique Stove Virtual Service Call®.

Everybody's Talking about The Old Appliance Club.

Valuable antiques chilling in Cuban kitchens

This General Electric refrigerator was one of the first to arrive in Cuba  

July 14, 2000
Web posted at: 4:56 p.m. EDT (2056 GMT)

HAVANA (CNN) -- A General Electric refrigerator that's about 60 years old is humming in Eulalia Lazio's kitchen in Havana. For Lazio, it's nothing more than a machine to keep her food fresh. In the United states, that model would be considered a piece of functional art.

Lazio is among the estimated half-million Cubans still using vintage fridges. Authorities are on a campaign to encourage residents to replace them with modern models, noting that the older appliances consume four times more energy and may leak freon gas, which is damaging to the earth's ozone layer.

Despite their faults, antique fridges are hot in the United States, says Jack Santoro, founder of The Old Appliance Club, an online clearinghouse for vintage kitchen gadgets and household equipment. The Web site averages 100,000 hits a week, he says, and 200 e-mails a day.

Santoro estimates that Lazio's model would probably sell for $25 to $50 in the United States. Vintage GE fridges in stellar condition can sell for up to $2,000. An American-made Leonard or Frigidaire made during the '40s or '50s can go for at least $250, if they're in good working order. If they're an unusual color, all the better, he adds.

It's not uncommon for U.S. antique appliance dealers to venture south of the border to snap up refrigerators, Santoro says. But getting to Cuba is a different story.

The owners of this American-made Leonard purchased it in 1951, years before the Cuban revolution  

The U.S. government enacted a trade embargo in 1962 that prohibits Americans from doing business with or spending money in Cuba.

The law may work against Cubans, who are being encouraged to buy newer refrigerators that typically range in price from $440 to $530. Most Cubans don't earn that much in two years.

So unless the Cold War-era law is lifted, U.S. antique dealers will have to keep their passions for those vintage fridges on ice.

Havana Bureau Chief Lucia Newman and writer Mary-Jo Lipman contributed to this report.


Partial listing of other publications, TV, and radio website interviews:

Wall Street Journal-1995, Natural Gas Dailies, LA Times, Antique Trader,  BrandWise, Good Housekeeping magazine, Independent Business magazine, Business '99, Renovation Style, The New Yorker, Frontier House PBS series, The Old House Journal magazine, syndicated columnists, Ann and Nan, Mr. Handyperson - Mark Hett, This Old House, Collectors Magazine and Price Guide, Cabin Life, libraries and museums throughout the country including The Smithsonian Library.

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