Skip to main content

Frigidaire T.O.M. (Tired Old Men) Club Records

Identifier: MS-406

Scope and Content

This collection spans more than 90 years’ worth of Frigidaire history as collected and preserved by members of the TOM (Tired Old Men) Club. The material is divided into series and subseries, and then further arranged into major groupings to aid in quickly locating relevant documents.

Series I: T.O.M. Club, 1919-2013, contains documents on the history of the TOM Club and the history of Frigidaire as written by TOM club members. The most comprehensive history is a presentation titled “The Frigidaire Story: End of an Era” by TOM Club member Gailard “Red” Ketcham. Administrative documents, membership lists, and club rosters and newsletters spanning the years 1986-2013 are also included.

Series II: Frigidaire, circa 1918-2008, covers the history of the Frigidaire company. It includes administrative information and employee newsletters. There is also promotional material and appliance information which includes parts catalogs, technical bulletins, and installation and operation instructions. The appliance information mostly dates from the 1950s-1970s.

Series III: Audio / Visual Media, 1921-2010, undated, contains audio and visual media relating to both the TOM Club and the Frigidaire company. Numerous photographs of retirement and Christmas parties, as well as photographs of products and production are included, mostly from the 1950s and 60s. Audio media in this section includes audiocassettes and audio disc records, many of which are promotional. Much of the audiocassette content was recorded by the donor to the audiocassettes. Also included are VHS videocassettes of Frigidaire history content, and Frigidaire film strips. Of note are the slides, which are also in digital form, of Gailard “Red” Ketcham’s presentation titled “The Frigidaire Story: End of an Era”. Series I contains the typed script to this presentation.

Series IV: Artifacts, 1942-1981, undated, consists of various artifacts collected by TOM club members during their working lives. These range from pin badges and key chains to a bullet, produced on a Frigidaire production line during World War II.

Frigidaire played an important role in the war effort of the 1940s. While the collection offers some information about this valuable function, it does not mention many of the manufacturing specifics of how the assembly lines were retooled. However, information is included on the quantity of Browning .30 caliber machineguns, and three- and four-blade propellers shipped.


  • Creation: 1918 - 2013
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1950-1970


Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection. However, due to preservation concerns, original audio and video formats cannot be played in the reading room. Items without reference copies can be digitized at the request of a patron for the cost of creating a digital copy. Please provide us at least two weeks advance notice if you would like to request an audio or video reference copy. Call (937) 775-2092 or e-mail us at Use of digitized content is subject to conditions governing use. To access electronic files in this collection, indicated by an e-number (e.g., ms406_e0002), patrons must provide archival staff a minimum of 2 days advance notice.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

History of Frigidaire TOM (Tired Old Men) Club

The Tired Old Men (TOM) club is a group of several hundred retired Frigidaire employees and supervisors who meet monthly and keep in touch with one-another. They saved and accumulated numerous photographs, sound recordings, documents, and other memorabilia.

Frigidaire formed in 1916 as the Guardian Refrigerator Company and merged with Delco-Light to become Frigidaire Corporation in 1926. It then became part of General Motors Corporation in 1933. During the Second World War, Frigidaire retooled their manufacturing plants to support the war effort, building machine guns and propellers. By the 1950s, Frigidaire was producing refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, washers, dryers, electric stoves and ovens. In 1979, the company was sold to White Consolidated Industries and again to Electrolux in 1986, which ended all production.


14.2 linear feet

468 megabytes Megabytes

Language of Materials



This collection consists of assorted photographs, documents, publications, and artifacts, collected by former employees of the Frigidaire Corporation. Within are numerous photographs showing different aspects of early founders and employees, as well as many motivational get-togethers. Included also are a number of technical manuals and training aids, demonstrating the business end of the company.

Statement of Arrangement

This Collection is arranged into three series.

Series I:
T.O.M. Club, 1919-2013
Subseries IA:
History of the TOM Club, 1977-1992, 2009
Subseries IB:
History of Frigidaire by TOM Club Members, 1919-2010
Subseries IC:
Membership, 1951-2013
Subseries ID:
Administration, 1986-2013
Subseries IE:
Newsletters, 1986-2013
Series II:
Frigidaire, circa 1918-2008
Subseries IIA:
Frigidaire History, 1927-1991
Subseries IIB:
Frigidaire Administration, 1926-2008
Subseries IIC:
Appliance Information, 1930-1987
Subseries IID:
Promotional Materials, circa 1918-1982
Subseries IIE:
Employee Newsletters, 1919-1981
Series III:
Audio / Visual Media, 1921-2010, undated
Subseries IIIA:
Photographs, Negatives and Slides, 1921-2010
Subseries IIIB:
Audio Recordings, 1959, 1964, 2009, undated
Subseries IIIC:
Film and Video Recordings, 1989-1993, undated

Technical Requirements

A computer with software capable of playing mp3, jpg, and PDF files will be needed to view and listen to electronic records in this collection.

Other Finding Aid

A complete finding aid to the Frigidaire TOM (Tired Old Men) Club Records is available on the Special Collections & Archives, Wright State University Libraries web site at .

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated by Gailard "Red" Ketcham and the TOM Club in 2008 with more items added to the collection through 2013.


It is possible that other materials will be added to this collection at a later date.

Related Material

MS-262, Frigidaire Historical Collection

SC-197, Frigidaire Recipe Book

SC-271, A Legend Rare of Frigidaire

Separated Material

Items that are part of this collection, but separated from it include three-dimensional artifacts and a framed poster of the flag raising at Iwo Jima. Some items have also been separated from documents that they were associated with when the collection was donated. These can be readily found, in that organizational groupings will have the same names. Paul Nozar's scrapbook included both documents, (box 1, files 6-11), and photographs, (box 21, file 12). Red Ketcham's Frigidaire Story, (box 1, files 2-5), included a PowerPoint presentation, (box 25, file 6).

Processing Information

Photographs have all been grouped together, as have technical manuals. All of the retirement photographs, (boxes 19-20), are organized chronologically. This was done because the subject matter revolved around retirement parties, often with multiple individuals being honored at the same event. This led to one odd grouping where Al Lane is listed twice (box 19, file 34 and box 20, file 1). The first was his luncheon, and the second, the party itself.

Guide to the Frigidaire T.O.M. (Tired Old Men) Club Records (MS-406)
Finding aid prepared by Mel Glover
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Revision Statements

  • 2014 October : Finding aid revised by Karis Raeburn to reflect significant additions.
  • 2018 October: Electronic records processed by Toni Vanden Bos.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA