Historical information

This ice cream freezer, manufactured in South Australia in the 1930's, was advertised to "keep the contents of the cream compartment frozen for many hours". It was promoted for use at picnics to keep salads cool. Its design is very similar to other freezers of The Frigid name which were made in 1939; those freezers were all one colour whereas this one is blue around the top and bottom of the barrel and cream in the centre with blue/green lettering.

The process of making ice cream was to pack the outer chamber full with a combination of 3 parts ice cubes of about 1 inch (2.cm) to one part coarse salt, then pour into the chamber about 1 cup of cold water. After this, the ingredients for ice cream or sorbet were poured into the inner chamber, then attach the lid and turn The Frigid freezer upside down for about 40 minutes or until the right consistency is reached. Advice as given to open the freezer every 20 minutes and stir around the contents that were frozen against the sides of the inner chamber. The ingredients for the ice cream could include cream, sugar, vanilla and eggs.

The label on the box of The Frigid shows the address of A Simpson and Son to be at Pirie Street, Adelaide. This address was used as early as 1876 and later catalogues, 1931 - 1960 still show this address.

Alfred Simpson and his family emigrated from England, arriving in South Australia in 1849. He had already completed his apprenticeship as a tinplate worker but he tried various other occupations, including trying out the gold mines in Victoria, before he established himself as a tinsmith in 1853. His products included many agricultural items. His son, Alfred Muller Simpson, joined the business when he turned 21.

In the 1860 Simpson's products included 'explosion proof' safes. In the late 1880's A Simpson and Son manufactured munitions and mines for the war. At the time of Alfred's death in 1891, A Simpson and Son had the largest metal manufacturing plant in Australia. From 1898 the company's reputation grew from the process of enamel plating with porcelain. During the First World War, Simpsons returned to the manufacture of munitions.

Alfred M. Simpson's sons (Alfred Allen, known as Allen, and Fredrick Neighbour) joined the company when they finished their schooling. Allen was also associated with the Royal Geological Society over many years and when the CT Madigan surveyed Central Australia in 1929, the Simpson Desert was named in his honour. Cape Simpson in Antarctica is also named after him due to his assistance to Douglas Mawson.

A new factory was opened at Dudley Park in the 1940s and the company began the manufacture of whitegoods. In 1963 A. Simpson and Son merged with Pope Industries to form Simpson Pope Holdings. Alfred Simpson became chairman of the board of Simpson Pope Holdings. The Simpson brand, now owned by Electrolux, continues to produce a variety of household appliances. (Reference: State Library of South Australia)


A Simpson and Son was an early colonial business that has lasted well into the 20th century and the name Simpson is still associated with whitegoods.

Physical description

Freezer, 2 quart (1.8 litre) capacity, made by A Simpson and Son Ltd, marked "The Frigid". Cylinder shaped, constructed from enamelled sheet metal, has two catches one on the base and one on top. Inner cylinder for holding contents for freezing. Slightly rusted. Freezer is inside original cardboard box with yellow label showing manufacturer details. Circa 1930's

Inscriptions & markings

Outside of freezer is printed in blue"The Frigid". Box includes "THE "FRIGID" FREEZER" and branded "S & S" inside a circle.