The chest that makes ice last longer! The Freezesi ice chest

The chest that makes ice last longer! The Freezesi ice chest

freezi-ice-chest-e1534293203411.jpg

1980.713 Freezesi ice chest, Hurstville Museum & Gallery collection.

The ‘Freezesi’ range of ice chests were manufactured in Australia in the first half of the 20th century. They were first advertised in Australian papers from 1914 and were sold as late as the early 1950s.

In 1929, around the time that the ice chest held in Hurstville Museum & Gallery’s collection  would have been manufactured, Freezesi’s were sold in Esienberg’s Value Centre in Rockdale for around £4 for a two-shelved, galvanised-lined model.[1]

Freeze-easy in the home and keep your family healthy!

The name ‘Freezesi’ is a play on words for ‘freeze easy,’ communicating to customers its function and ease of use. Advertisements for the chest state that it is ‘the chest that makes ice last longer!’[2]

Freezesi

1980.713 Freezesi ice chest branding, Hurstville Museum & Gallery

Ice chests allowed for perishable foods to stay cool and have a longer life.  After canning decreased in popularity, ice and refrigeration became an important investment within Australia for both agricultural trade and domestic use.[3]  This drew on growing preoccupations within Australia around health, hygiene, and cleanliness.

An article devoted to Natural Food Preservation in the Sunday Mail reflects on mankind’s search to preserve perishable food; “From the very dawn of human history, man has endeavoured to protect his food from the deteriorating effect of atmospheric heat.”[4] Science and health were very important selling points for ice chests, including the Freezesi. One advertisement by Smellie & Co, Ltd in Brisbane claims that ‘No housewife should be without one of the “Freezesi” Ice Chests for health reasons.’[5]

freezesi ad

“Freezesi Advertisement”, E.H.R Powell Grafton, 1914.

As with all technological developments, ice chests were superseded by Kerosene-based coolers and ultimately by electric refrigerators and freezers by the mid-1950s.

Did you or anyone you know own a Freezesi? We’d love to hear about it!

References:

[1] “Advertising”, The St George Call,  4 October 1929, pg. 1, viewed 19 March 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article232079103

[2]  “Advertising”, Daily Advertiser, November 15 1929, pg. 1, viewed 9 December, 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article142811768

[3] Farrer, Keith. To Feed A Nation: A History of Australian Food Science and Technology, CSIRO Publishing, pp.51-53, 2005

[4] “Ice in the Household”, Sunday Mail, 22 November 1936, pg. 11, viewed 18 November 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article97978722 

[5] “Advertising” The Telegraph, 25 November, 1922, pg. 2. Viewed 18 November , 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article177141975

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