Timeline of Refrigerators and Low-Temperature Technology

Picture Of Ventilated Fruit Car From 1893

Since people noticed that food that is held on the lower temperatures lasts longer we tried to find a way to produce the cold without depending on the nature. We will present here chronology of inventions that preceded low-temperature technology as we know it today.

  • Around 1700 BC - one of the first ice houses was built near the Euphrates.
  • Around 500 BC - first yakhchals appear in Persia. They were a type of evaporative cooler.
  • 1396 AD - Ice storage warehouses called "Dong-bing-go and Seo-bing-go were built in Han-Yang (today’s Seoul, South Korea). They held ice from the frozen Han River and are not used as warehouses since 1898 AD but their buildings stand even today.
  • 1756 - William Cullen held the first documented public demonstration of artificial refrigeration.
  • 1782 - Ice-calorimeter was invented by Antoine Lavoisier and Pierre-Simon Laplace.
  • 1784 - Gaspard Monge liquefied the first gas producing liquid sulfur dioxide.
  • 1803 - The first domestic ice box appeared.
  • 1803 - A patent on refrigeration given to Thomas Moore of Baltimore, Md.
  • 1805 - The first closed circuit refrigeration machine was invented. Its inventor was Oliver Evans and its design was based on the vapor-compression refrigeration cycle.
  • 1809 - Jacob Perkins patented the first refrigerating machine.
  • 1810 - John Leslie freezes water to ice by using an airpump.
  • 1834 - The first patent for a vapor-compression refrigeration system given to Jacob Perkins.
  • 1851 - John Gorrie patented his mechanical refrigeration machine which makes ice to cool the air.
  • 1856 - James Harrison patented an ether liquid-vapour compression refrigeration system. He also developed the first practical ice-making and refrigeration room for industrial use.
  • 1859 - Ferdinand Carré invented the first gas absorption refrigeration system that uses gaseous ammonia dissolved in water (also known as "aqua ammonia").
  • 1862 - Alexander Carnegie Kirk invents the “Air cycle machine” for providing chilling on ships.
  • 1864 - Charles Tellier patented a refrigeration system that uses dimethyl ether.
  • 1869 – Charles Tellier builds a cold storage plant in France.
  • 1876 - Carl von Linde patented equipment to liquefy air. It used the Joule Thomson expansion process and regenerative cooling.
  • 1877 - Raoul Pictet and Louis Paul Cailletet, independently of each other, develop two methods to liquefy oxygen.
  • 1882 - William Soltau Davidson fitted the New Zealand ship “Dunedin” with a compression refrigeration unit.
  • 1892 - James Dewar invents the vacuum-insulated, silver-plated glass Dewar flask - a type of early thermos flask.
  • 1904 - America Society of Refrigerating Engineers was founded.
  • 1906 - Willis Carrier patents the basis for modern air conditioning.
  • 1908 - Heike Kamerlingh Onnes manages to get liquefied helium.
  • 1915 - Alfred Mellowes starts Guardian Frigerato and begins building first self-container refrigerator for home use.
  • 1920 - Edmund Copeland and Harry Edwards invented small refrigerators that use iso-butane as a fuel.
  • 1923 - Kelvinator, an early type of refrigerator, held 80%of the market for electric refrigerators at the time.
  • 1925 - Electrolux purchases AB Arctic and starts selling the "D-fridge".
  • 1926 - General Electric Company puts on market the first hermetic compressor refrigerator.
  • 1926 - Willem Hendrik Keesom turns helium solid.
  • 1929 - David Forbes Keith of Toronto, Ontario, Canada patented “The Icy Ball”, a type of early refrigerator that didn’t use electricity for cooling but a burning cup of kerosene. It helped hundreds of thousands of families through the time of Dust Bowl.
  • 1926 - Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd invent the Einstein refrigerator which has no moving parts.
  • 1951 - Heinz London invents the principle of the dilution refrigerator.
  • 1955 - 80% of American households own a refrigerator.
  • 2005 - Refrigerator is present in 99.5% of American homes.
Picture Of Advertisement Of Tiffany Refrigerated Railroad Cars
Picture Of Modern Home Refrigerator
Picture Of Red Mini Fridge
Picture Of Refrigerators In Magazines