Here and there in the five boroughs, the name Rex Cole still adorns apartment buildings of a certain vintage. In 1927, General Electric introduced its monitor-top refrigerator, designed by the company's chief engineer, Christian Steenstrup, and retained Cole to promote it. Cole not only likened the unit's drumlike compressor to a Jazz Age high hat, he also went on to build at least three spectacular refrigerator showrooms from the designs of the architect Raymond Hood.
This enamel sign likely dates from between 1927 and 1935, when Rex Cole's company filed for bankruptcy. Cole died in 1967.
Rex Cole's General Electric refrigerators
Surviving signage at 239 East 5th St. (at Second Ave.), Manhattan