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"Coldair" Wooden Icebox from "The Boston Store"

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Posted 7 years ago


(156 items)

Saw this old wooden icebox at Alameda. You see these alot but I thought this was a particularly nice one, in nice shape. Note the nice hardware and wood grain.

The brand is Coldair, "made expressly for The Boston Store." I've never heard of this despite having grown up in Boston.

Has anyone ever heard of The Boston Store?

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  1. joe cafano, 7 years ago
    I have one that looks very much the same except the name tag reads:
    Belding Hall
  2. Virginia, 7 years ago
    I'm looking for an IceBox refigerator for my brother in law. I live in Calif, can you help?
  3. Dizzydave Dizzydave, 7 years ago
    The Boston Store was founded by Charles Netcher, an upstart, young businessman who had moved to Chicago from Buffalo in 1869 at the age of seventeen. He initially worked as a cash boy and bundle wrapper with the Pardridge dry goods house. Shortly after the 1871 Fire, he became a partner in the outfit and soon thereafter bought out the other owners. He renamed the store as a marketing ploy, hoping the New England city's strong reputation in merchandising would add credibility to this own establishment. Before Charles died in 1904, the Boston Store expanded rapidly and soon occupied almost the entire half-block on the north side of Madison between State and Dearborn in Chicago's Loop.

    Boston Store, ca. 1917

    Boston Store, ca. 1912
    The new Boston Store, built in phases between 1905 and 1917, was seventeen stories tall and had twenty acres of floor space. Its facilities included a post office, a Western Union office, a savings bank, a barber shop, a first-aid station, several soda fountains and restraurants, and an observation tower 325 feet above street level. A cigar factory on the seventeenth floor was capable of producing three million stogies a year. For the four thousand Chicagoans employed by the firm, there were private reading rooms, employee lunchrooms, and a full-sized employee tennis court on the roof.

    By the late 1930s, business at the Boston Store had begun to decline and what had once been State Street's second-highest-grossing department store had slipped to seventh. During those years, little effort was made to modernize the store or the way it did business. Observers criticized the store's increasingly outdated appearance—some said it "reeked with a quaint Victorian mustiness"—and Mollie's refusal to develop suburban outlets or break with its traditional cash-only sales policies. The Boston Store closed in July of 1948. The 1917 building, however, still stands and underwent a complete renovation in 2001. The lower floors of the building now house a Sears department store.

    Hope this helps! LOL Dave
  4. Dizzydave Dizzydave, 7 years ago
    Address 2-16 North State street Chicago
  5. IMASapp IMASapp, 7 years ago
    The Ice box was made by the Ranney Refrigerator Company, Greenville, Michigan. The model was called "Ashwood". The "two shelf" version originally sold for $14.00 according to a published Ad.

    The following link will take you to my latest project:


    P.S. Mine is missing a wire shelf in case anyone has a spare.

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