From "Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads":

American housewives took to the mechanical refrigerator as fast as their finances would allow. By 1937 more than two million American households had new refrigerators, and by the mid-1950's over 80 percent of the population did. (In contrast, only 8 perfect of English households had refrigerators by 1956.)

I'm trying, and failing, to imagine my life if I had to shop for food every day, or keep charge of a tiny, moldy, inconsistent icebox. I doubt it would include much writing, for starters. Little things like this constantly remind me just how rich we are compared to even the very recent past.