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The story of the fridge

The refrigerator or refrigerator is a fundamental device for families in modern societies. Before refrigeration systems were known, food was preserved using inefficient methods that altered its composition. when possible, they were cooled with ice or snow transported from distant places. Cellars or holes were insulated with wood or straw, and snow or ice was placed. The development of modern refrigeration systems meant a drastic change in the processing and preservation of food.

Refrigeration consists of removing heat from a closed space or from an object to lower its temperature. The refrigeration systems used in current refrigerators use the compression and expansion of gases by mechanical means, a process that absorbs heat from its environment, extracting it from the space to be cooled.

The first refrigeration systems

The first refrigeration system was created by William Cullen at the University of Glasgow in 1748, but its general use proved impractical and it was not used. In 1805 Oliver Evans designed a refrigeration system, and in 1834 Jacob Perkins built the first device. This refrigeration system used a steam cycle. American physician John Gorrie built a refrigeration system based on Oliver Evans’ design; he used it to cool the air in the treatment of yellow fever patients.

carl von linden carl von linden

It was the German engineer Carl von Linden who worked on the development of heat extraction systems and designed a process for the liquefaction of air based on the compression and expansion of gas, a design that is the conceptual basis of the refrigeration systems used now. Thomas Elkins and John Standard introduced substantial improvements in the design of refrigeration systems.

modern refrigeration systems

Gases that were compressed and expanded in refrigeration systems built from the late 19th century to the early decades of the 20th century, such as ammonia, methyl chloride, and sulfur dioxide, were toxic, explosive, or flammable, making them which caused several fatal accidents in the 1920s. In response, a new compound was developed for use in refrigeration systems, Freon. Freon is a CFC, chlorofluorocarbon compound, developed in 1928 by a General Motors team consisting of Thomas Midgley and Albert Leon Henne. These compounds degrade the ozone layer of the atmosphere and their use in refrigeration systems and aerosols was prohibited from 1987.


History of refrigeration. Jacob Perkins – The Father of the Refrigerator . Accessed November 2021.