Westinghouse appliances come home to Mansfield Memorial Museum

Jerome Powell
Scott Schaut, curator of the Mansfield Memorial Museum, hauls the 1930s-era refrigerator made by Westinghouse inside.

A treasure trove of Westinghouse appliances and memorabilia made in Mansfield was unloaded Thursday at the Mansfield Memorial Museum, including a 1931 Westinghouse refrigerator that still runs.

The Mansfield plant began in 1918 and underwent changes in ownership until the sprawling factory’s closing in 1990.

David Howat of Vermilion had collected Westinghouse items for years.

Scott Schaut, the museum’s curator, rented a van and drove to Vermilion to pick up the 115-piece collection.

Howat, who did not work at Westinghouse, said his love of Westinghouse appliances started when as a boy he saw the Westinghouse sign above the plant on a trip with family to Mansfield to eat at Red Lobster.

Then his parents’ neighbor gave the family a Westinghouse fan and radio when she moved in 1979.

A fridge from 1931 is the highlight of Westinghouse products that recently were donated to the Mansfield Memorial Museum.

Avid collector of everything Westinghouse

He’s been collecting Westinghouse on and off for the past 30 years, buying items mostly online. He said he really “stepped it up” in the last 15 years and sent his nephew to Michigan to pick up the 1931 refrigerator he paid $100 for.

“My thought was let it go so somebody else can enjoy it,” Howat said Friday, adding he was a bit sentimental about letting it go.

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