Interviews with TOAC where Everything Old Is New Again!
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 - http://www.antiquestoves.com/toac/about.htm
Mark Hetts column at: http://www.amuniversal.com/ups/features/mr_handyperson/
Talking about The Old Appliance Club.
Valuable antiques chilling in
This General Electric refrigerator was one of the first to
arrive in Cuba
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
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
CNN.com writer Mary-Jo Lipman
contributed to this report.
listing of other publications, TV, and radio website interviews:
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.
For stove and appliance
parts, information, free consultation, estimates, thermostats,
electrical elements, safeties... see
Old Appliance Club Shop