The Refrigerator

By: Hunter Warzecha

Prehistoric TImes

Ice Harvesting

During the coldest seasons of the year, people would go to there nearest fresh water lakes, ponds, or streams. Their they would harvest the ice, and bring it to there houses. People would store the ice in caves or pits lined with insulation. The ice was used to preserve meat and other foods.


A sort of chemical refrigeration was created when scientist found out that when you combined sodium or potassium nitrate with water, it cooled the the water down. People would use this to chill beverages like wine.


William Cullen demonstrated the first artificial refrigerator. Cullen used a partial vacuum over diethyl ether, which absorbs heat from the air.


Oliver Evans created a design for the refrigerator. His was based on vapor compression instead of chemicals. He never actually made his design.


Jacob Perkins got the first patent for the refrigerator. His version was using the vapor compression that Evans created. His prototype worked but it did not sell commercially.


John Gorrie designed a machine that froze water into ice. He also used this to compress the air with water, from this came air conditioning. He got a patent for the fridge in 1951, but it also failed commercially.


James Harrison introduced a commercial vapor compression refrigerator. The fridge was mainly used in breweries.


This is the first fridge was developed specifically for home use. The refrigerator uses the refrigerant freon (CFC) which was thought to be a lot safer and less toxic than past refrigerator models. Soon after the freon was switched with hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), because it took fewer parts and less space to use.


At this time the refrigerator was being mass produced. Now, more and more people in the U.S. had a refrigerator. By the end of the 40's 60% of people had a fridge.


Today, refrigerators are more efficient than ever. They have improved in performance and style. We can even get a glass of water with ice, at the touch of a button.


The refrigerator has made a huge impact on everyday life. It has made it so easy to have access to good things to eat. In the past, people would have to visit the grocery store once or even twice a day to get fresh food. Today people can just walk into their kitchen and get a cold glass of water, or a bowl of ice cream. I think we take the appliances like the fridge for granted, and we should appreciate them more.


Chapel, George L. "Gorrie's Fridge." Gorrie's Fridge. APALACHICOLA AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY, INC., n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2015.

"Refrigeration." - New World Encyclopedia. MediaWiki, 7 July 2015. Web. 30 Sept. 2015.