The Icebox, Austro common as ice box, is the forerunner of the refrigerator as household appliance for cooling and preservation of food. Often, the term is colloquially used today for the modern refrigerator.


As a cold source was ice in a special - was laid compartment with a drain for melt- water - Protects against corrosion usually been proposed with tin or zinc plate. The ice was placed over the cooling compartment to move (also next in North American models ) the rising warmer air by cooling again to sink.

In order to allow good air convection in the refrigerator, the cooling material lying on wood or wire grids. The fridge was sometimes lined in luxurious finishes for easy cleaning with porcelain. The insulation consisted of a more or less complex layering of wood, cork, sawdust, peat, straw or seaweed. The water- tight separation of the ice from the chilled goods through the sheet prevented that too much condensation could accumulate in the refrigerator.

Installation site

When preparing the refrigerator the same principles as for the planning of storage and pantries were. The location of the refrigerator should be in a cool as possible, from the outside shaded with trees north wall, as far away from fireplaces, stoves - his and sun rays in order to avoid its unnecessary heating and premature thawing of the ice - including the warm kitchen. Storage cellar that are not warmer than 15 ° C, were often the best sites. Alternatively, many kitchens had a so-called Eisbalkon.


Initially used to derived natural ice in the winter, which had to be collected in suitable storage cellars, the so-called ice cellars, so it was also in the warmer months are available.

The supply of households and smaller grocery stores, for example, the milk acts with Blockice or blocks was carried out several times a week by special delivery companies, which were to supply other services such as milkman and newspaper man often called analog Eismann. Exceptionally convenient refrigerators that were used in North America could be filled from the rear wall of ice without having to give the supplier access to the apartment.

Daily had the ice water, usually through a small faucet, be emptied. In simpler embodiments, the water dripped into a bowl under the cabinet that had to be emptied by hand.

The food should come to be cooled with the ice not in direct contact, because the ice is not necessarily consisted of drinking water or at least suffered by the months-long storage sacrificing quality. Secondly, the food hygienic reasons should not lie directly on the cooling grates so that they could not contaminate the inside of the cabinet.


Refrigerators have become established in wealthy households to the end of the 19th century in the German - Austrian area and have matured as a product. Vienna is considered as the cradle of portable Eisreservoirs. The development of mechanical and convenient refrigerator pushed the refrigerator, in North America as early as the 1930s, in Europe from about the 1950s.

Manufacturer in 1896

Ernst Nöthling 1896 assigns the following as a more well-known manufacturers:

  • Herman Delin, Berlin N., Chorinerstrasse 9
  • C. Fiedler, C. Berlin, New Green Street 10
  • F. Krieg (owner O. Wendt ), Berlin SO. , Skalitzerstraße 136
  • Heinrich Sackhoff, Berlin SW., Zimmerstraße 79
  • Theodor weigela, Berlin S., Old Jakobstraße 50
  • Zeppernick & resin, Berlin SW., Gitschiner Road 108
  • Ludwig Düring in Wroclaw, Kaiser Wilhem Strasse 9
  • Schmidt & Keerl in Kassel
  • R. v. Bandel, Dresden, Blasewitzer 37d Street
  • United Eschebach'sche works, joint stock company, Dresden and Radeberg
  • Pour Brothers, Dresden Neustadt
  • Fri Reindel, Dresden -Neustadt, Turnerweg 1
  • Werner & Bardach, Dusseldorf, Bilker Allee 49
  • A. M. J. Rieper & Comp, Hamburg and Ottensen
  • August signs, Legnica
  • Caesar A. Schmidt, Stettin, Roßmarkt road 17
  • CF Kirchhof 's Söhne, Vienna IV, Schaumburgergasse 8
  • Wiesner & Fiedler, Vienna