Refrigeration has become an integral part of our daily lives, from how we store our food, to keeping ourselves cool in hot weather; refrigeration Chester has the solutions for you.
However, refrigeration didn’t used to be so efficient and clean – we’re going to look at some interesting facts about refrigeration (some might really surprise you!).
#1 – The first U.S. refrigeration patent was filed by a Doctor. A Florida Doctor by the name of John Gorrie was looking to find a way to keep his fever-stricken patients from sweltering. Hoping he could cool the air with cold water, he created a compression system in the 1840s; but it ended up freezing the water instead of merely chilling it.
#2 – Flash freezing was inspired by Inuit fishing practices. In 1912, Clarence Birdseye travelled up to Canada to make his fortune as a fur trapper. Instead, he got the inspiration for flash freezing. He learned how to ice fish from the locals and he noticed that the fish he caught froze almost instantly; and once they thawed, the fish tasted perfectly fresh.
#3 – Early fridges were super strong. The home fridges of the early 20th century were incredibly well-fortified. In 1939, to prove that their fridges had a sturdy structure, Frigidaire got a 4-tonne elephant to stand on top of it; then proceeded to open and close the door to prove that their seals were airtight no matter what happened.
#4 – Without refrigerators, there would be no supermarkets. Refrigerated train cars and ships made transporting vegetables, fruit, meat and other perishables across the world possible. This is why we can purchase Chilean raspberries in the middle of winter. Supermarkets wouldn’t be able to store all the different foods they sell without fridges, nor would people be able to buy an entire week’s worth of groceries at one time if they didn’t have somewhere cold to keep it at home.
#5 – Early ice supplies came in jagged chips! It wasn’t until 1825, when Nathaniel Wyeth, a New England ice supplier had a radical idea and invented a kind of saw-plough that a horse could pull across a frozen pond or river to cut through the ice and have them resemble regular blocks. This was revolutionary for the ice business as evenly cut slabs fit together more efficiently than rough-hewn chunks so storehouses could pack more ice together.
#6 – You didn’t want to consume 19th century ice. Even the apparently clean ice cut from lakes would have contained a little bit of algae inside (yuck!); and cheaper ice was even worse. To increase ice yields, ice harvesters would drill through the first layer of pond ice so that it sank a little, which brought more water to the surface to then freeze into thicker ice. This method trapped leaves, dirt and any other nasties inside the frozen blocks.
#7 – Initially, installing a refrigerator at home meant cutting up your floor. The very first self-contained fridge sold by the company Kelvinator didn’t come until 1925. The refrigerator came in two parts – the machinery and the motor went into the basement, and connected through the floor up to an ice box filled with refrigerant.