Timeline of Refrigerators and Low-Temperature Technology

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.
Picture Of Ventilated Fruit Car From 1893
  • 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 Ventilated Fruit Car From 1893
Picture Of Advertisement Of Tiffany Refrigerated Railroad Cars
Picture Of Red Mini Fridge
Picture Of Modern Home Refrigerator
Picture Of Refrigerators In Magazines