What Are Old Ice Boxes Worth?
The value of old ice boxes depends on the age, craftsmanship and manufacturer of the piece. An antique Snowflake ice box is worth considerably less than an antique salesman’s sample ice box dating back to roughly the same time.
A salesman’s sample ice box is a miniature cooler scaled to the exact dimensions of the full-sized models and displayed for customers to see. An appraiser from the “Antiques Roadshow” determined that a sample ice box constructed from wood with a metal interior, drip pan to catch the melting ice and cast-iron hardware dating between 1890 and 1910 is worth several thousand dollars.
Some ice boxes are constructed completely from metal with a layer of cork insulation between the outer shell and the zinc interior. A Snowflake ice box with this sort of construction dating back to 1910 is worth only a few hundred dollars as of 2015. Like the sample ice box, the Snowflake also has an upper compartment for the ice and a drip tray on the bottom.
Coca-Cola coolers dating back to the 1940s and 1950s are valued to a few hundred dollars, depending on the stamping and condition. Although ice boxes predated electric coolers such as refrigerators, manufacturers produced coolers as portable ice chests to hold food and drinks.