Did you know that General Motors once owned one of the largest refrigerator companies? Frigidaire was a GM company and many say that is where the common name "fridge" came from. William Durant bought the ideas for a refrigerator from Detroit engineer Nathaniel B. Wales in the 1910's. The compressor was on the bottom of the cabinet for the first time.
William Durant invested in the company in 1918 and began to mass produce refrigerators for the Frigidaire company. It later became part of the Delco-Light and then its own division. Frigidaire was sold to the White Sewing Machine Company in 1979 which was bought by Electrolux.
An interesting article on how society has been affected by the refrigerator can be found here.