The History of the Refrigerator

The alternatives

Before modern refrigeration, people had no choice but to use nature to keep their food chilled. This meant ice or snow, either shipped in or from the local area. Many people dug cellars deep into the ground for cooling purposes. This lead to spoiled food and disease.


The ice trade proliferated in the 19th century, centered in the United States and also Scandinavia. People bought and shipped ice all around the world to help keep their food and other products cool. This further lead to the use of ice cars on railroads that allowed for the long-distance shipment of meat. Despite these advances, something new was needed.


The domestic fridge

In 1913, Fred Wolf of Fort Wayne, Indiana improved on earlier patents and created the first domestic refrigerator. They were bulky though, and needed extra parts stored beneath the home. Over the following years, they became more practical, until in the late 1920s, the first widespread model was introduced: the General Electric “monitor-top”. These were later found to be hazardous to humans. More improvements were made to self-contained refrigeration units throughout the century until modern times. Sleek new models are more computer now than fridge, but they are environmentally clean, and safe for humans to use.


It is hard to imagine life without our beloved fridge. Without them we couldn’t have domestic food storage, long-distance food and beverage shipment, or any of the other things we take for granted these days. So if yours isn’t working properly, call the pros so we can help get things back to normal again.