Can you imagine a life without a refrigerator? In the part of the world where I’m in, it’s already summer and I can’t live without very cold water. Can’t imagine life without the fridge! So, here’s a bit of history for all of us.
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The concept of mechanical refrigeration began when William Cullen, a Scottish doctor, observed that evaporation had a cooling effect in the 1720s. He demonstrated his ideas in 1748 by evaporating ethyl ether in a vacuum, according to Peak Mechanical Partnership, a plumbing and heating company based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Oliver Evans, an American inventor, designed but did not build a refrigeration machine that used vapor instead of liquid in 1805. In 1820, English scientist Michael Faraday used liquefied ammonia to cause cooling.
Jacob Perkins, who worked with Evans, received a patent for a vapor-compression cycle using liquid ammonia in 1835, according to History of Refrigeration. For that, he is sometimes called the “father of the refrigerator.”
John Gorrie, an America doctor, also built a machine similar to Evans’ design in 1842. Gorrie used his refrigerator, which created ice, to cool down patients with yellow fever in a Florida hospital. Gorrie received the first U.S. patent for his method of artificially creating ice in 1851.
Read more about how refrigerators work and the future of refrigerators here.
Image Credit: W.carter / Wikimedia Commons