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Looking Back at the History of Refrigeration

Refrigerators can be lifesavers. According to NBC 5 Chicago, a diabetic Indiana man depended on his refrigerator to keep his insulin cold. They bought a new refrigerator, but it quickly stopped working.

After several repairs, the refrigerator was still out of commission. The refrigerator manufacturer eventually offered the couple a new refrigerator, but this posed a serious problem for the man who suffered from diabetes.

Imagine not owning a refrigerator today. Your fight with diabetes would be much more difficult. Dairy products would spoil quicker.  Beer would be warm, and you would not be able to store as much fresh food. Your ancestors did not have this convenient appliance.

Atlas Appliance Repairs, the premier refrigerator repair service in Burlington County, NJ, believes it’s important to look back at the past and appreciate the technology of the present. History shows us how we got to where we are today and where could head in the future.

So, how did we get to the point of having refrigerators in our homes?

Ancient Solutions

Ancient civilizations, such as the Chinese, Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans, kept their food and drinks fresh in snow and the frigid water from melting snow. During the 1600s, it became popular to cool drinks in Italy, Spain, and France to rotate bottles in water that contained dissolved saltpeter. This solution created chilled liquid and ice. People also preserved food by salting, spicing, smoking, pickling, and dying. They placed their food in cellars and spring houses. Despite utilizing these methods, spoiling still occurred.

Ice, Ice Baby

In the late 18th century, ice was shipped commercially from Canal Street in New York, NY to Charleston, SC. Soon after that, Frederick Tudor and Nathaniel Wyeth changed the game by building an ice shipping empire. They transported ice to warmer climates, decreased melting, and came up with a method that made it easier to handle, store, transport, and distribute ice. The ice industry grew, laying the groundwork for refrigeration.

Beer, Meat and Trains

Commercial refrigeration initially directed its efforts toward the brewing industry, as breweries were the first to use mechanical refrigeration extensively. The meat-packing industry was the next to follow. Mechanical refrigeration units were installed in nearly every American packing plant, improving the quality of meat. In 1867, J.B. Sutherland patented the refrigerated railroad car, which was used to transport dairy products, seafood, meat and fruit.

Home, Sweet Home

The household refrigerator was becoming increasingly popular by the 1920s. They became a staple in rural and urban homes just 30 years later as mass production was ramped up following World War II.

Looking at the past and seeing how refrigerators weren’t common should make you feel a sense of gratitude for this appliance. Atlas Appliance Repairs, the top refrigerator repair service in Gloucester County, NJ, understands this and will help keep your refrigerator running!