Modern appliance history traces back to the early part of the 19th century. Early washing machines were made of wood, and the early stoves were cast iron. By the time this GE Monitor Top refrigerator became popular, White was the color choice for appliances.
When I was dating the girl who became my wife, her folks lived in a 60’s built John F. Long home in Maryvale that had Pink appliances. At the time the home was built, popular colors were Yellow, Pink, and Turquoise.
In the 70’s colors such as Harvest Gold, Avocado, and Coppertone became popular. They were a 2 tone color with darker shading around the edges. They eventually gave way to the solid colors of Harvest Wheat, Fresh Avocado, and Coffee. Then along came Almond which was a soft beige color that became very popular. It was eventually replaced with a different shade called by the name Bisque or Biscuit.
Sometime in the Bisque era GE and Whirlpool introduced new colors of Sand and Silver. However, each company had slightly different colors so that they didn’t match. Of course, because of the lack of standardization, neither was successful with their new color additions.
People often wonder when Stainless Steel was introduced as an appliance finish. While Stainless Steel started to gain traction in the late 90’s when Pro-Style ranges became de rigueur, Stainless Steel finishes have been around for much longer. See the photo below of the original Jenn-Air downdraft cooktop introduced in the early 60’s.
Jenn-Air also pioneered monochromatic appliances by introducing White-on-White appliances to take the place of appliances with chrome trim. Not so popular was Jenn-Air’s tentative launch in the mid-90’s of a gallery of appliances called Blue Creek that had hues of Red, Gold, Blue, and Green.
A future blog will cover some of today’s appliance colors and current trends.