Thursday, March 4, 2010

O.D. Royer Icebox, ca 1905, Added To the Easley Store

Boone County Historical Society collection. Donated by Charles & Judy Johnson and David & Jo Sapp.

The icebox pictured was made ca 1905 by the O.D. Royer Mfg. Company and is rare because it was made with see-through sides for the commercial market of stores and shops. While the available information suggests that the Royer Manufacturing company moved from Downing, Wisconsin to Minneapolis, Minnesota, before 1900, the brass handles on the box doors are stamped with a patent date of Mar. 26, 1901. Thus the estimated 1905 date of manufacture. It measures 24-5/8" x 24-5/8" x 62-3/4" high.

Oscar David Royer was born 13 December 1866 probably in Waverly, Franklin county, Iowa, and died 2 February 1949 in Pasadena (Altadena), Los Angeles county, California. He married Elma Etta Hall, daughter of Amos and Amelia Hall, 13 June 1890. "O.D."as he was known, was a sales representative for Specialty Display Case Co. in Kendalleville, Indiana, and then owned a factory in Downing, Wisconsin. Later he established the Royer Refrigerator Co. in Minneapolis, Minnesota, before moving his family to California where he owned a wholesale candy distributing firm.

The iceboxes that he made displayed chocolates and cheeses and other items needing refrigeration. The see-through sides have double panes of glass about 1" apart. The top ice compartment is insulated in the method of the day, probably with flax straw, and includes a beveled mirror on the side opposite the doors. The door side was probably positioned toward the store clerk for the clerk’s access, while the mirror side faced the customer.

This icebox’s journey from Wisconsin to Boone county is unknown, except for the fact that it was acquired by Mr. & Mrs. Johnson after having for a time been in a restaurant at the Lake of the Ozarks area. Thus, while not a “Boone county artifact,” the wonderful piece is a perfect addition to the Easley General Store in the historical society’s Village at Boone Junction.


MAD said...

Hi - nice write-up on this interesting item and on Royer. I recently acquired, and am restoring an O.D. Royer horizontal oak and glass icebox counter display. I'm blogging about the restoration here: - Mark

Anonymous said...

I have one exactly the same purchased in an antique store in Newport Beach, CA about 1970.

Michael Anderson
Long Beach, Ca

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness...I'm jumping with joy! O.D.Royer was my beloved grand-father. I had heard stories but now I have some evidence. He also made hinged collapsible grocery boxes. I hope somebody can find one of those also. Thanks so much to all of you quester's of treasure.
Virginia Hess
SaddleBrooke, AZ

Anonymous said...

I have one like this as well. The difference being the top box (where the ice went) also is open with double glass instead of wood. Love this piece.

Mariposa, CA

Anonymous said...

I have one identical to this. It has a beveled mirror on the backside of the ice compartment. It also has the words "Fresh Ice Cooled Pies" below the mirror. The brass plaque on the back side, on the botton, states "Downing Mfg. Co.; Downing, Wis". Any information on this, including possible value would be greatly appreciated. The history of mine is that it was in a drug store called Kessler's Pharmacy in Tarrant City, Alabama. Upon the invention of electical refrigeration it was stored in Mr. and Mrs. Kessler's basement. My inlaws bought the house and the Kessler's left it.
Steve Armstrong
Birmingham, AL

Anonymous said...

I need to correct my last post. The wording on the back states "Fresh Ice Cooled Chocolates".

Steve Armstrong
Birmingham, AL

Anonymous said...

I have what I believe is a pie safe with the plate that said what I thought was "O.O. Royer Mfg. Co." but after seeing this I believe it said "O.D. Royer". Tough to find information about this company online, though.

Anonymous said...

I have one of these as well, it was used in my great grandpas' drug store to display chocolate candy. The top has three panes of glass about an inch apart for insulation. Any idea what it's worth?

Boone County Historical Society Archives said...

The Boone County Historical Society cannot provide a value for artifacts. Those interested will have to search that out on their own.

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