It’s easy to take your refrigerator for granted. We expect it to keep our food cool minimizing bacteria and keeping it fresh for consumption. It’s a modern convenience but civilizations have been trying to keep their food cool for centuries resulting in the invention of the refrigerator. Call the Appliance Doctor if you have any refrigerator issues.

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For centuries people have used ice as a way of keep food cool. This evolved at the start of the 19th century into ice boxes to store food. Wooden crates were lined with tin or zinc. Cork, sawdust or seaweed were used to insulate and hold the blocks of ice to keep food cool. A drip pan collected the water as the ice inevitably melted.

The work of Dr William Cullen, Michael Farady and Dr John Goorie paved the path for creating the appliance we know today. The basic cooling principles were adapted from their knowledge.

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Here in America there were two consecutive warm winters in 1889 and 1890 which caused an ice shortage. Mechanical refrigeration was resorted to assist the fish, brewing, dairy and meat industries.

The first home refrigerators appeared in Indiana. In 1911 the General Electrical Company presented a unit that had been invented by a French monk. In 1915 the first Guardian refrigerator was put together in the yard of a wash house in Indiana.

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Kelvinator and Servel models appeared on the American market in 1916. By 1920 there were 200 refrigerators out in the public domain.

The 1920’s and 30’s showed an introduction to the freezer and electrically generated refrigerators as opposed to being operated by a motor.

World War 2 held up mass production of the modern refrigerator. In the 40’s they changed how people ate with frozen food being available and stored in these appliances.

Automatic defrost and ice makers upgraded refrigerator technology in the 1950s and 60s. When the environment emerged as a priority in the 70’s and 80’s there was a strong focus on making them more energy efficient. Today the refrigerator is one of the most commonly used appliance in America.


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