Once upon a time—starting in 1948—Evansville, Indiana was earning a reputation as the Refrigerator Capital of the World. Servel, International Harvester, Seeger, and later Whirlpool were among the appliance manufacturers whose facilities produced coils, condensers and cabinets there. What better way to raise the community's profile than to kick off a new tradition? Then as now, teaming local industry with college athletics seemed a win-win proposition, and the Refrigerator Bowl was born.
Turnovers in business trends, though, eventually took their toll on the event. The last Refrigerator Bowl was played in December, 1956; the Sam Houston State Teachers College Bearkats frosted the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State College, 27-13.