The History of the Refrigerator

Before the refrigerator, many homeowners used an ice delivery system to keep their food from spoiling. Ice would come in on a Monday and be placed in an ice box/cellar to help it stay frozen throughout the week. These 19th century families would then bury meats, cheeses and other refrigerated products in these cellars to be consumed later. The problem here was that the liners of these cellars were unreliable, and the ice would only last between 5-7 days. Someone needed to find a better way. Luckily, they did. It was called the refrigerator.

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The Beginning
Like most major inventions, the refrigerator can trace its roots back to a series of smaller inventions:

  • 1748- At the University of Glasgow, William Cullen developed the first artificial refrigeration system. For an unknown reason, he never tried to use his discovery for practical purposes.
  • 1805- US inventor Oliver Evans designed the 1st refrigeration system that used vapor to cool.
  • 1844- US physician John Gorrie built a refrigerator that was used to cool the air for yellow fever patients.
  • 1927- After several more small advancements, General Electric released the first widely used home refrigeration system which used Freon to cool.

The Boom
The new refrigerator was a lot more effective than the icebox, but people still couldn’t afford the convenience. The 1st General Electric refrigerator cost anywhere between $350-$600. This was far too steep a price for an American family during the Great Depression. It wasn’t until after WWII that the refrigerator industry really took off. By the year 1950, almost 80% of American homes were using refrigerators, compared to just 30% in the 1930’s. The refrigerator had arrived, and everyone was getting on board.

The Present & Future
Over time the refrigerator has evolved into an appliance that every home/apartment has. Their cost has gone down significantly, and their new features continue to entice people to upgrade. The refrigerator has become more advanced, but the same purpose remains. Keep food cold and safe for us to eat!

As amazing as the refrigerator is, it is not indestructible. If your unit is experiencing problems, call the experts at Speedy Refrigerator Service to have it taken care of. We haven’t been around as long as the fridge itself, but we have been serving the New York City area for over 50 years!

To schedule your appointment, call 866-782-9376 or click around on our website!


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