15 April 2011

Top This, Martha

In 1951, International Harvester—yes, the manufacturer of tractors and other heavy equipment for farming—made a foray into the world of kitchen appliances. Perhaps concerned that the company's industrial image might not fare too well crossing over into the more demure, domestic realm, some wordsmith came up with the concept of 'femineering', i.e., [ostensibly] soliciting a woman's input during product development. In this case, that resulted in wrapping the refrigerator door in a fabric of the housewife's choice.

While this ad promises you can upholster your fridge in a mere seven minutes, it fails to give detailed instructions on the process. I couldn't leave KBCULTURE readers in the dark on this, and so direct you to US Patent 2,760,301 [interestingly, it was issued to the Whirlpool Seeger Corporation—yes, that Whirlpool]. There you'll find ridiculously complicated diagrams and a four-page, anything-but-easy, step-by-step guide to this unique home decor project. Have fun!

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