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Refrigerator from Baldwin Borough deemed state's oldest

| Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 12:22 a.m.
Duquesne Light customer Richard Linnert stands next to his1937 Frigidaire refrigerator in his Baldwin home Monday, October 1, 2012. The family appliance for the past 75 years was officially crowned 'Pennsylvania's Oldest Refrigerator' and was recently recycled through Duquesne Light's Watt Choices program. Linnert planned on getting $35 through the recycling program but was also awarded $1,250 from Sears for having the old appliance. (Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)
South Hills Record
Richard Linnert of Baldwin Borough shows off the inside of his 1937 Frigidaire refrigerator after accepting $1250 in gift cards from Sears, winning Pennsylvania's first oldest refrigerator contest through Duquesne Light. Randy Jarosz | For the South Hills Record

The old refrigerator Richard Linnert's aunt left in the basement when he bought her Baldwin Borough home in 1998 turned out to be worth more than he thought.

The 1937 Frigidaire that Linnert, 68, once used to store beer and soda pop was named “Pennsylvania's Oldest Refrigerator” on Tuesday. That distinction earned Linnert $1,250 in Sears gift cards.

Linnert's fridge beat out 18,360 others that were recycled between April and August through a program co-sponsored by Duquesne Light, Sears, JACO Environmental and other electric utilities across the state to replace inefficient appliances.

The program, which judged only refrigerators donated for recycling, is an attempt to reduce energy consumption. It pays the owners $35 for their old refrigerators and freezers. The companies remove the inefficient appliances to be recycled.

Linnert said he would have been happy with the $35. His refrigerator outlived its usefulness and he moved his favorite beverages to a refrigerator on the first floor of his home for easier access some time ago.

“I just didn't need it anymore,” Linnert said Tuesday, as he received his bonus Sears gift cards. He said he was surprised to learn his fridge was 75 years old.

Instead of buying a new refrigerator with his winnings, Linnert plans to purchase a flat-screen television and a new phone.

Linnert said he plans to watch his energy usage, in part by switching to the energy-efficient “swirly kind” of light bulbs throughout his home.

“I think everybody should do something,” he said.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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