Refrigerator #2004-0045Press Office, North Wing, Upper floor
White enamel coated Freezerator refrigerator.
This 1951 refrigerator was used in the Press Gallery in Provisional Parliament House from the 1950s until 1988. When Parliament moved into Parliament House on Capital Hill in 1988, this fridge was saved from the scrapheap by Warwick Costin, then a writer for The Sunday Telegraph. Costin used this fridge until he donated it to the museum in 2004.
When asked about the history of the refrigerator, Costin said:
‘This ancient appliance, the Freezerator, was originally installed in The Daily Telegraph office in the Press Gallery. That office later included the Nine Network television news room. The fridge was used by journalists, camera crews and teleprinter operators from the 1950s until 1972. More particularly, it stored the milk for Alan Reid’s endless cups of tea. It also allowed snacks or a light meal to be available for those night-shift reporters, who had to cover debates in the House of Representatives or the Senate until the early hours of the morning.
When Sir Frank Packer sold The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph to Rupert Murdoch in 1972, the fridge was transferred by the bureau chief Bob Baudino, who moved up the corridor to lead the newly converged News Limited bureau. It continued as a source of milk and refreshments, although in the 1970s it was affectionately renamed ‘Newsbooze’.