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My New Vintage Ice Box

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    Posted 7 years ago

    (2 items)

    I just bought this ice box yesterday @ a garage sell for $100.
    It has a tag on it thats says Peoples Furn Co( Chicago, IL). I am trying to find out more about it.
    This one has a lid on top with a porceln water tank and a water spicket on the front. I have looked online and found them without the water option but cant find it with it.
    I would like to find out who made it, how old , and how rare is this one with the water option. Also was debating about weather I should restore it or leave it as is with the green chiped paint.

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    1. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      Restore. They used beautiful hardwoods for these & the 1's I've seen restored looked fantastic.
    2. shareurpassion shareurpassion, 7 years ago
      This is nice and personally, I like that "crackled" look and color...but blunder does know what he's talking about...very cool!
    3. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 7 years ago
      What you do with it depends on two things. First are you going to try selling it? If you are then it is worth more in the original, unaltered condition. If you plan keeping it then the options are wide open. The paint could be milk paint but I seriously doubt it. There is paint on the inside racks where it never would have been. I sooner think this was made to look old.
    4. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      These were made as a piece of nice furniture usually. I don't know what % were varnished wood & what % were painted, but they were made of good wood. Have you determined if it was originally painted or not. If mine, no matter which, I would go with wood finish. Paint will never compete with the beauty of wood, with it's grain & depth & just naturally draws the eye.
    5. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 7 years ago
      I overlooked your comment about the water option. That is not a water option, that is where you drained off the water as the ice melted. Most units you pulled the drain pan out and emptied it. This isn't uncommon it was just an upper end option.
    6. AzTom AzTom, 7 years ago
      fhrjr2, check the last photo. I looks like it does have a cold water tank in the top or vertical in the center.
      I have seen hundreds of these and have never seen one with the water tank. I'm going to guess this is rather rare.

      I would strip it as I don't think that is the original paint anyway and they are beautiful when finished in natural wood, usually oak.
    7. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      I didn't pay any attention to the "water option" as there is no indication by thee pic as to where it is located. All the 1's I've examined had a drain pan under neath with a a slosh-lip around the top sides. I'm certainly no expert on old ice boxes but have closely examined some. Painting was the lazy mans way of avoiding stripping & re-varnishing. Ice boxes are getting really hard to find now. Even 20 yrs ago.
    8. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      If you decide to clean the paint off of the brass hinges & latches, you can go with polished or an aged patina. To give an aged patina: polish the parts, clean well with a solvent that leaves no residue, & suspend in a well sealed container over commercial ammonia. Do not let the parts touch the ammonia & check every 15 mins. as it doesn't take long & depends on size on container, how well sealed & how close the parts are to the ammonia. Appreciate this as I am giving trade secrets away for free.
    9. wroach, 7 years ago
      Hello all and thanx for your response.
      I will try to anwer everyone here.
      To start out I do lke the wood look as the back of the box is org with no paint.
      The guy I got this 1 from had 2 and he said they belonged to his gradma from Chicago.
      The other one was the same but the metal was taken off the doors and someone redone it as a peice of furniture. It has the bottom drain plug but not the porcelain water insert and spicket as mine dose.
      I do beleive that someone along the way painted it green on the outside and white on on side in the inside. However all the paint is chipping and flaking off.
      I am trying to sell it but Im not sure which would bring more money.
      I do like the natual wood better then the paint and have a friend that owned an antique shop for 30 years and he can refininsh it for me for $100.
      He has also told be that he has ony seen 1 other one with the water dispenser in itand that was about 40 yrs ago. He believes that this could be a commerical model, one used at a gerenal store or one for the very wealthy for that time period.
      Mine does have the dran plug/Hose where it drains into a pan under the unit.
      Its just got me stomped that I cant find one anwhere that has the water option.
    10. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      They all will have a drain pan. If you have yours, you are lucky as most were thrown out or used for such things as solvent pans for washing off greasy parts in a garage, planters etc.. $100 is cheap! If he does it right. Don't care how good a friend he is, I would require a close inspection of prep. before OK'ing the finish to be applied. Nice piece, don't let anybody screw it up.
    11. Chadakoin Chadakoin, 7 years ago
      My 2 ¢ : leave the finish alone. Every antique mall in the US has at least half a dozen of these languishing that that have been refinished and brasses polished to the max. Ho-hum. You've got the look that folks are looking for these days in this piece; full of aged crackly character. That jadeite green screams 1920s-30s. The most I'd do is vacuum out the flaky stuff and maybe brush off the hardware a little.
    12. Drill Drill, 7 years ago
      Food for thought : I once saw a 1920s Pie safe with five coats of crackled paint. It was clear coated to stop the paint from coming off. But the hardware was original brass ,that was restored to a high polished finish(to include the brass mesh grills) The interior shelves inside were srtiped and stained clear oak and you could see it through the grills. It was a stunning piece to see the old paint virtually untouched and the interior completely restored along with just the metal. This piece changed the way that I look at refinishing.I use this alternating technique sometimes when restoring trunks.If you don't like the look, you can always go to full restoration of the wood..BB2 is correct you can always put patina back on rather quickly using the technique with ammonia he described.I don't know fridges though so good luck with the piece.
    13. trunkingforfun, 6 years ago
      Thanks, BB2 for the trade secret. Never knew about that.
    14. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 6 years ago
      Strip this and refinish it for $100??? Something very wrong with that if it is done properly.

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