"Christian Steenstrup (1873-1955) of General Electric (GE) was responsible for the widespread introduction of domestic refrigeration when, in 1927, he designed the first all-steel refrigerator with a hermetically-sealed compressor mounted in a circular unit on top. The 14 cubic-foot refrigerator sold for 525 dollars in the United States, half the price of its competitors..." -via The Science Museum, London.
"Many of the Monitor Top cabinets were fitted with a foot pedal that would let you open the door with a touch of the foot. This came in really handy when you had just come from the hen house with your arms loaded with fresh eggs! Just a touch of your foot and the door popped open (usually busting your knee in the process)." -via Antique Appliances
A bunch of places refurb these fridges, some by disconnecting the top and adding a refrigeration unit on the back, others restore the top unit as well. They even have their own flickr group. Just rewatched The 39 Steps (1935). Interior of Mr. Hannay's flat below, Portland Place.