Fridge magnet history
A refrigerator magnet or fridge magnet is an ornament, often whimsical, attached to a small magnet, which is used to post items such as shopping lists, child art or reminders on a refrigerator door, or which simply serves as decoration.    Refrigerator magnets come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and may have promotional messages placed on them. Refrigerator magnets are popular souvenir and collectable objects.
Refrigerator souvenir magnet display
Fridge magnet history contents
retail display of magnets
The first fridge magnets were cylindrical or solid rectangular magnets. Later, a flexible magnet was developed, composed of a high-coercivity ferromagnetic compound (usually ferric oxide) mixed with a plastic binder. This is extruded as a sheet and passes on a conveyor belt over a line of powerful cylindrical permanent magnets. These magnets are arranged in a stack with alternating magnetic poles facing up (N, S, N, S,…) on a freely rotating shaft. This impresses the plastic sheet with the magnetic poles in an alternating line format. No electromagnetism is used to generate the magnets. The pole-pole distance is on the order of 5mm, but varies with manufacturer. Ferrite magnets are commonly used, too, with decorative elements attached to the magnets with adhesive.
Halbach array polarisation
Unlike most conventional magnets that have distinct north and south poles, flat refrigerator (fridge) magnets made from composite materials are often constructed with alternating north and south poles on the same surface of the plane; this can be felt by taking two similar (or identical)fridge magnets and sliding them against each other with the “magnetic” sides facing each other: the fridge magnets will alternately repel and attract as they are moved a few millimeters. This construction gives twice the magnetism on one side and is thus more effective at keeping the large planar magnet uniformly attracted to the steel fridge than a uniformly-polarized magnet would be. This permits cheaper types and sizes of magnets to be used. The arrangement is called a Halbach array.
Alphabetical fridge magnets
Magnetic poetry fridge magnets
Plastic letters attached to small, thick rectangular fridge magnets have been manufactured since the 1960s, and marketed as an educational product for young children. In the 1990s, sets of small sheet magnets printed with individual words became popular; these sets are used to create sentences including poetry. Fridge Magnets may be attached to souvenir objects, or to practical objects such as hooks, notepads, etc.
Collecting fridge magnets
Collecting fridge magnets is a hobby, with some collectors specializing in fridge magnets from their travels, or of a particular theme. They are sold at souvenir shops worldwide.
There is no generally recognized term (e.g. numismatics for currency collecting) for fridge magnet collecting. A Russian collector has proposed the term memomagnetics (Russian: мемомагнетика), derived from the words memoriale (Latin) and magnetis (Greek) A collector of fridge magnets would be called memomagnetist. These terms have been used by at least one Russian online community for fridge magnet collectors.
Large fridge magnet collections
At one time, the largest verified collection of fridge magnets belonged to Louise J. Greenfarb from Henderson, Nevada (suburb of Las Vegas, USA). Her world record was included to the Guinness World Records with 19,300 items as of 1997. According to the British “Book of alternative records”, it grew to 29,000 as of February 2002, and later up to over 30,000 items. Over 7,000 magnets from Greenfarb’s collection were exhibited at the Guinness Museum in Las Vegas, which has since closed.
In January 1999, Tony Lloyd, a teacher in Cardiff, Wales, was interviewed by the Channel 4 Television programme Collector’s Lot when it was ascertained that he had largest collection of fridge magnets in Europe at that time, over 2000. As of September 2010, he had a collection of over 3,600.
Home craft fridge magnets
Refrigerator magnets (Fridge magnets) are also popular as crafts projects.
In 1996 Jeffery Gauss, a.k.a “The Magnet Dude”, began to create his art on the vinyl magnetic surface itself. Since he began he has created over 41,000 unique pieces of magnetic art. In Minneapolis home of Magnetic Poetry, Gauss began to create and sell his pieces at Calhoun Square in Uptown.
Buy fridge magnets
Effectiveness of Fridge Magnets
Most homes in South Africa have a fridge. They hold up children’s precious artwork, photos, shopping lists, memos etc. Magnets printed with calendars, sport schedules, important phone numbers, kitchen conversions, save the date info, advertising info etc. are kept on the fridge for the useful information they offer. How often will they be seen? Let’s assume the average South African family opens the refrigerator 10 times a day. (A very conservative estimate) This means the average family of four will see your magnet:
- 40 times a day
- 280 times a week
- 14 560 times a year.
1000 fridge magnets would result in 14.6 million views per year! That is massive exposure for a relatively low cost.
- Save the date for weddings
- Bookmark magnets
- Kitchen conversions
- Emergency service numbers
- Photo frames
- Business card holder magnets for attaching to PC’s
- Domed magnets resulting 3D lens effect
- Puzzle magnets
Shaped fridge Magnets
Shape up your business promotion with our Shaped Magnets! By making the magnet into a custom shape you can make your company logo instantly recognizable. You could also make a shape depending on your industry. For example estate agents could use a house shape or a delivery company could use a delivery truck shape.
Domed fridge magnets
Doming is a process where resin is added onto the magnet to give a 3D lens effect. This does add to the price however the effect is stunning. See www.domedstickers.co.za for more information on doming.
Simply send us an email to sales(at)geckomedia.co.za and we will respond immediately. To help speed up the quote process, please include the following in your email:
- Magnet shape,
- Size (Length x Breadth) or diameter
- Quantity required (minimum order 50 pieces)
- Send the Artwork instructions and files (if you have files) such as logos, photos, finished artwork etc.
Call us on: 011 234 4501/2/3
Email us on: sales(at)geckomedia.co.za
Address: Unit 9, The Firs, 5 Humber Street, Woodmead.