Specialising in the refurbishment & supply of
Vintage Timber Refrigerators
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The Vintage Fridge Company specialises in the refurbishment and supply of original “Ice Box's” and vintage refrigerators.

The Company was founded by John Bodrell in 2009 after a search, for a modern equivalent to the look of the original “Ice Box's” proved fruitless.

We have a proven history within the architectural antique trade, with over 18 year's experience and a reputation for reclaiming, renovating and supplying some of the most unique and interesting items in the world today.

Our sister company - The Cast Iron Reclamation Company - was the first, and is still, one of the leading suppliers of original reclaimed cast iron radiators. We have exported original renovated items all over the world from loft apartments in New York to Beach houses in Latvia, with the odd Yacht in Italy.

We have also been responsible for the supply of various architectural antiques and salvage to many major high street shops, including: AllSaints, Karen Millen, Whistles, Jigsaw, and Ghost to name but a few.

All of our refurbished fridges are fully guaranteed and can be shipped worldwide with all engines being adaptable to varying electrical voltages.

History & Origins

The international trade in ice was started by Frederic Tudor of Boston, known as the Ice King.

In 1806 he shipped 80 tons of ice to Martinique in the West Indies. By 1847, 52,000 tons were sent to 28 cities across the USA by Tudor as well as Cuba, Jamaica, Brazil, Europe (there was an 'ice safe or refrigerator' at the 1851 Great Exhibition from the Wenham Lake Ice Co in Massachusetts) and even India (Calcutta became Tudor's most profitable destination), and by 1900 nearly every family, grocer and barkeeper in the USA had an icebox.

During the early 1900s domestic electric refrigerators became available, and by the 1940s they were common in US homes.

Ice was shipped to its destination city or town in block form to be kept in an icehouse and then hawked in block form street by street. The refined form of icebox as kitchen furniture or appliance was invented between 1850 and 1860 and remained in production in a similar form until the advent of the electric fridge in the 1940s.

The Ice Man

The iceboxes are hardwood cupboards with inner linings of tin or zinc insulated with material such as cork, sawdust, rice husks, straw or seaweed, some with glazed cupboard doors, built to house blocks of ice on an upper shelf, allowing cool air, and often iced water, to flow through the lower food and drink cupboards below.

The Brazilian geladeiras were manufactured for restaurants and bars in Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, made from peroba do campo timber, also known as ipe, a hardwood similar to mahogany, which is insect resistant, has medicinal properties, and was famously the species used for creating ten mile long boardwalks in Coney Island and New Jersey, possibly the result of the ice trade.

The European fridges that we refurbish are usually made from oak or pine again these were mostly manufactured for bars and restaurants, however, some of our smaller items detailed on our stock pages were originally for domestic use.

Ice Box Construction

Pioneers of Refrigeration for all

The "Lig-o-nier” ice box company was located in Indiana and founded in 1890, it was one of the first companies to bring refrigeration to the masses, with a range of different style and size ice boxes.

Lig-O-Nier Refrigerators
Lig-O-Nier Manufacturing Plant
Lig-O-Nier Cabinet Room
Lig-O-Nier Trim Department

The Mc’Cray family are believed to be the inventors of the commercial and domestic refrigerator / ice box. In 1882 Elmer Mc’Cray received a patent for his companies cold storage room. He continued to improve on this patent, developing refrigeration units for both the domestic and commercial use.

The McCray Company remained in Kendallville, Indiana for almost eighty years until 1975, when it merged with Howard Refrigeration of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and moved to that city. Howard McCray remains a leading manufacturer of commercial refrigeration units in the U.S.

McCray Refrigerators for Residences
McCray Refrigerators
McCray Refrigerators - built to order
McCray Refrigerators - advertising

Renovation Process


The pictures shown here are of a Argentinian “Ventana de visualización” before and after renovation. We endeavour to keep all original exterior features as sympathetically renovated as possible, so as not to detract from the age and authenticity of the original item.

The Internals

Internally all linings, insulates, racking and where fitted, engines, are removed and replaced with modern equivalents, including environmentally friendly condensers, evaporators and lighting. We insulate and then reline the interior with stainless steel, finishing with either hardwood or aluminium racking. However, internal specifications can be tailored to your specific requirements, including the positioning of the motor.

The Internals
The Internals
The Internals
The Internals

We are able to offer a variety of internal finishes to our "Ice Box's". The most popular is our stainless steel finish which is available in either smooth or textured. Our hard wood racking system has been designed to be as both functional and yet sympathetic to the overall character of the unit. It is easily adjustable and sealed to protect hygienically. The shelves themselves are easily removable to enable cleaning of both the shelves and the internal walls.

The Internals

The Motor

The Motor

Every vintage fridge or "Ice Box" is fitted with a new fully guaranteed motor. This can be sited both internally, in various compartments, or externally in an adjoining room or indeed outside as an air conditioning unit.

The Evaporator

The Evaporator

The evaporator unit is normally fitted in the highest point internally of the "Ice Box", to give the most affective refrigeration. This unit is again new and fully guaranteed, it is also fitted with a dial thermostatic unit, to allow variable temperature contro.



All "Ice Box's" are fitted with internal food safe LED lighting, which is controlled by either open and close switches operated by the doors, or internal PIR movement censors.

The Warehouse

The Vintage Fridge Company Warehouse
The Vintage Fridge Company Warehouse
The Vintage Fridge Company Warehouse
The Vintage Fridge Company Warehouse
The Vintage Fridge Company Warehouse
The Vintage Fridge Company Warehouse

In the Press

See what various people and the press say about us.

The World of Hospitality magazine, April 2020

The World of Hospitality magazine
April 2020

We have a similar fridge in stock - see fridge #E105

See fridge #E105
April 2018

Houzz, January 2017

January 2017 View article

Bon Appétit Magazine, February 2016

Bon Appétit Magazine
February 2016 View article

Houzz, March 2015

March 2015 View article

Best Home Ideas, September 2014

Best Home Ideas
September 2014 View article

Sophie's Steakhouse & Bar, September 2014

Sophie's Steakhouse & Bar
September 2014 View article

Maison Bentley Style, July 2014

Maison Bentley Style
July 2014 View article

Yasmin Chopin Interior Design
July 2014 View article

Moody's Home article
April 2014 View article

Salvo News article
February 2014 View article

Life in Luxury
November 2012 View article

Between Interiors
October 2012 View article

We Heart - Lifestyle Magazine
October 2012 View article

Homes & Antiques magazine
September 2012

Kitchen Hunter
September 2012 View article

Mark Hill
May 2012 View article

Decorative Fair Stand
April 2012

The House Mag
April 2012 View article

Sabi Style Blog
January 2012 View article

Contact Us

Warehouse By Appointment Only

Hazeldene Farm
Ockham Lane
Surrey, KT11 1LW

Telephone:   07813 293 866 (John Bodrell)
Email: Email (click to contact)

Registered Office

The White House
8a Burgh Heath Road
Surrey, KT17 4LJ

Telephone: 01372 940 177