No fingerprints for everyone – Whirlpool Refrigerators [1979]


At some point I think I must have lost touch with the refrigerator-buying public. Sure, I’ve heard of the roving bands of gang members looting Sears and carrying off refrigerators and washer/dryer units but I am apparently sadly unaware that the headline in 70s refrigerator technology is that they were not sufficiently fingerprint resistant. In 1979, that all changed…

1979 Whirlpool

1979 Whirlpool

Ad Text:

At Whirlpool we know how you feel about fingerprints. So we designed a refrigerator with textured steel doors that help hide fingerprints.
Now we’ve put the same beautiful textured steel doors on all the kinds of refrigerators we make. And we make more kinds of refrigerators than anyone.
Side-by-Side. Freezer-on-the-top. Freezer-on-the-bottom. And the Serva-Door refrigerator, with the unique door-within-a-door. It lets you get to the foods you use most often without opening the whole refrigerator. Some models even come with a new ice dispenser that lets you get ice without opening the freezer door. Others offer ice water through the door.
More models have humidity sealed crispers to help keep food fresh. And porcelain enameled interiors that are especially easy to clean. Plus textured steel doors that hide fingerprints.
We do all this because we want you to like your Whirlpool refrigerator, and us, for a long, long time.

So the headline here is that the doors resist fingerprints while buried in the tiny text hide the innovations that we all take for granted today? Clearly this was a different time with different priorities when an immaculate exterior was more important than not fanning the door every time you wanted a drink of water. I’ll also point out that if you tried to sell a fridge in the sort of sad brown/tan color they show here you’d have a very hard time today. Though you could make a few extra bucks selling cans of spray paint to knock back the dull a bit. My how society’s taste in colors has changed.

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