Frederick McKinley Jones

Did you know he invented the Refridgerator?

Birth and Childhood

He was born on May 17, 1892 in Cincinnati and was orphaned when he was nine years old. He left school after sixth grade and returned to Cincinnati when he was sixteen. Jones then became a mechanic.


He moved to Hallock, Minnesota in 1912 where he still worked as a mechanic. He joined the U.S. Army during World War I and went back to Hallock after.


One time when a chicken vendor was talking to him about how a truck full of raw chicken had gone bad due to the heat of the weather, Jones got an idea. He invented a device that was put on top of the semi-trucks cargo trailer that refrigerated the cabin so that the food wouldn’t spoil over long trips. He also invented movie ticket dispensers, self-starting gas engines, and a device that adds audio to video so that movies would be better. He had over 60 patents and over 40 of them were for refrigeration.


He was inducted into the American Society of Refrigeration Engineers in 1944. During the 50’s Frederick was a maco to the Bureau of Standards and the U.S. Department of Defense. On February 21, 1961 he died of lung cancer while in Minneapolis. His most important invention was the long trip refrigeration system which was issued a patent (#2,303,857) on July 12, 1940.

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