The Back Story
"Bewitching" 1960s Frigidaire Flair
by Nancy Sajdak Manning
Kimberly Jones of Saginaw Township creates modern meals on this vintage 1960s state-of-the-art, electric 40-inch white/stainless Flair Custom Imperial range produced by General Motors' Frigidaire Division (1919-1979). The sleek range, which featured convenient side-by-side top ovens and slide-away burners, required an optional cabinet base.
The Flair was advertised as "The happiest thing that ever happened to cooking . . . or you!" and was guaranteed "to modernize your kitchen." Even featured in Samantha Stevens' kitchen in the Bewitched TV series, the Flair could be used to create magic-like fast meals from modern frozen, canned, and boxed convenience foods.
Frigidaire promoted the Flair range at a time when American culture was undergoing tremendous upheaval and the Second Wave Women's Movement was gaining momentum. In The Feminine Mystique (1963), author Betty Freidan urged trapped-feeling middle-class women to leave their kitchens that had become prison-like since meaningful domestic work had been replaced by increased technology.
Today's Frigidaire appliance ads reflect changed attitudes and times, offering "to help you get things done in less time and with less effort, so you can get out of the kitchen and on to the things you really love." Frigidaire's "More Me-Time Guarantee" assures "moms everywhere" of eight hours increased "me-time" per month with select appliance purchases.
Becky Low of Stambaugh Appliances in Bay City described new top-of-the-line Frigidaire range features to include convection and larger ovens, smooth range tops, and griddle or 12-inch kettle burners. Historical photo courtesy of www.kitchenandresidentialdesign.com; current-day photo by Avram Golden; and photo of appliance owner's manual courtesy of www.frigidaire.com