Refrigerators & the British: A Question

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by alan halvorson, Jul 2, 2005.

  1. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    I was watching a program on Ebay on CNBC yesterday. On it was a British women who was a big Ebay seller and also furnished much of her home via Ebay purchases. She said she had and preferred American refrigerators, and that American fridges were a highly desirable appliance in Britain. Why is that? Don't you have access to good fridges?
     
  2. Claudia P

    Claudia P Stunt Coordinator

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    It's the SIZE of the refridgerators - american fridges are huge in comparison to fridges anywhere else in the world. Same goes for washing machines. Fisher & Paykel make wonderful appliances (good looking, functional, great quality) but don't get anywhere near the size of the american counterparts.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. JohnCZ

    JohnCZ Stunt Coordinator

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    A British fridge is equivalent in size to a american bar fridge or the type you get in a hotel.
     
  4. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Well, that makes sense. Seems like someone in Britain is missing an opportunity.
     
  5. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    This would help explain the total lack of a clue about icy drinks in Great Britain.
     
  6. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    British homes & kitchens are frequently much smaller than US equivalents with more appliances vying for space - washers & dryers are frequently kept in the kitchen instead of a seperate 'laundry room'.

    So traditionally, fridges were the height of the worktops like a front loading dryer.

    Nowadays, there's a much more expanded range of fridge freezer combos, though still not the huge caverns that fill the American fridge landscape.

    http://www.currys.co.uk/martprd/stor...fm=0&sm=7&tm=1
     
  7. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    Just enough to hold a day's worth of food? You'd think someone there would come up with vertical appliances (sort of the stack washer/dryer or oven/stove/microwave).
     
  8. Mike Voigt

    Mike Voigt Supporting Actor

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    Not quite. One of the key differences between my household here and my parents' over there was the amount of meat, in the form of steaks, we eat here. It is significantly larger. Things like drinks, etc. were not stored in the fridge (think beer, and how much space it takes up) until and unless needed. - my parents always had a bottle of water going, but it stayed outside, and the fridge didn't have the water-filtering and serving capability mine does. No icemaker either, just self-filled cubes. Many of those items went into a cool cellar for longer-term storage. My parents also had a potato bin; none stored in the fridge. Food was bought fresh as much as possible, then possibly canned and stored - in the cellar. Many packages are also smaller - think quart-size vs gallon-size.

    None of this amounts to much individually, but in sum, it adds up. And some households had a separate freezer - like here - though my parents never bought one once they moved back. We had one when we lived there before, prior to moving to Latin America...
     
  9. andrew markworthy

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    Mike, I think we're describing the older generation here. V. few Brits under fifty (unless they are a foodie) has a clue about how to preserve fruit and veg. I used to make pickles and jams (sorry, jellies) when I was a teenager (I was an odd teenager, okay?) but I gave up years ago (too bad an effect on my waistline). However, a lot of us still do buy fresh where possible. My wife and I generally make two or three trips to the stores weekly to buy fresh meat/fish and then do a weekly big shop for other imperishable goods. I don't think we're all that untypical. I think it's also worth pointing out that v. few Brit houses have a cellar. It isn't due to a high water table or anything like that - it's just simply that they're not built. It may have a lot to do with associations of the 'underworld' (the phrase originated in Victorian UK to describe the very poor/'criminal classes' who used to live in the basements/cellars of rented houses) so houses post-1900 or so often lacked a cellar (other than a coal storage cellar).
     
  10. Mike Voigt

    Mike Voigt Supporting Actor

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    Andrew - interesting! I did not know that was the reason. I was thinking about the area where my parents lived.

    My family gave up canning when we moved to Latin America, and certainly my wife and I haven't canned diddly-squat. The fresh markets we would visit if we had any - I was thinking about the ones near where my parents used to live in Germany (Kirchzarten, near Freiburg). What a wonderful thing; I will forever remember "waffle lady" in Belgium, too, when we visited a friend of ours. We couldn't speak (Flemish anyone?) but she sure made the best waffles I have ever eaten.

    The closest we have here is Central Market, essentially a supermarket chain (HEB) that picked up the concept of having really fresh (and somewhat expensive) veggies and fruit available. As well as about 100 different varieties of cheesse, bread, fish, coffee, and the like. Great place to go to - kind of like a much reduced version of Harrod's, in a manner of speaking, including price. Not too hot on teas, though.

    Other than that, it's farmer's markets. They're hit and miss. At least in Florida you had roadside stands, those were fantastic, excellent quality fruits and veggies.

    Mike
     
  11. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    eeenteresting, wonder what it costs to freight a refrigerator over to the UK. Ebay.co.uk here I come!

    how do you handle the 220 to 115 conversion? that's a big autotransformer to fire up the compressor.
     
  12. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Good heavens, I thought this thread was discussing the old chestnut joke:

    Why do the British drink warm beer? Because they have Lucas refrigerators.

    I'm sure that you just change the wiring on the coils of the drive motor....should be quite simple. No external transformer should be required.
     
  13. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    You store potatoes in the fridge?
     
  14. Eric Kahn

    Eric Kahn Guest

    the transformer would not be that big, I had one as a kid in germany to power my stereo and it was overkill since it would put out 15 amps of 120, but military families got them dirt cheap from some store on base, I think my parents paid like 10 dollars for mine and we sold them back when we moved back to the US

    the compressor in a refrigerator is a sealed unit and cannot be rewired on 99.9% of consumer line refrigerators sold in the US, there are some of the new HUGE models that are 220, but then you also have to deal with the 50 cycle issue which will slow the compressor down by about 13% and cause it to draw more amperage
     
  15. andrew markworthy

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    We have them here, but they vary enormously according to where you live. If you live in one of the traditional fruit and vegetable growing areas (basically the midlands and east of England) they can be great. Elsewhere, it's hit or miss. Living in the south of Wales as we do now (agricultural produce - sheep, sheep and sheep; and lamb gives me migraines)there's relatively little on offer. You do see the occasional roadside stall, usually run by a guy who failed the auditions for Deliverance and Straw Dogs because he looked too weird. Curiously enough I've never stopped to find out what's on offer.
     
  16. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    I've had a soft spot for Whitbreads since the 1960s, when they underwrote Sir Francis Chichester's around the world voyage. And I was a teenager at the time and didn't even drink beer/ale.
     
  17. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    looks like you beat me to it [​IMG]
     

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