ASHRAE recently added a piece of history to its Atlanta headquarters: the first electric refrigerator designed for consumers.
The “Domelre,” which stood for Domestic Electric Refrigerator, was made in 1916 to be a mass-market, affordable unit. It was made to be portable and could be installed to convert a traditional ice box into a refrigerator.
Fred Wolf Jr., who was a charter member of the ASHRAE predecessor the American Society of Refrigerating Engineers, designed the unit.
It was installed on the first floor at the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ headquarters June 19.
“The piece comes from the Frigidaire collection where it had resided since the 1920s,” said society historian Bern Nagengast. “As far as I know, it’s the only one in existence. It is a significant piece of both industry and ASHRAE history, being the first successful automatic electric refrigerator and invented by Fred Wolf Jr., charter ASRE member.”