From ice-houses to Kelvinator and beyond: life and evolution of the refrigerator
The first part of the article retraced the events and inventions that led to the advent of the refrigerator and the preservation methods used to maintain the food’s quality. What happened next?
In 1869 the first attempt of fresh food trading by Lowe
Lowe crammed an old steamboat with his newly invented refrigerators intending to transport fresh fruit from New York to the Gulf Coast, and fresh meat to Texas. Because of his poor entrepreneurial skills and a popular scepticism, this endeavour was not a success.
The beer production was among the industries that most required access to commercial refrigeration systems. Among the breweries, however, there was a common disagreement concerning the pollution of the ice used for the production so far. This industrial uprising led to a progressive increase in demand for ice-making machines, to which Carl Von Linde responded in 1871 by installing a process for producing liquid air and liquid oxygen for refrigeration, thus patenting the first compact mini-refrigerator.
Stimulated by the 19th century’s Industrial Revolution, the 1851 invention was improved and subsequently applied on a steamship which, in 1876, transported a load of meat from France to Argentina in 105 days. The attempt was such a success that it was later replicated on American railroad coaches to transport dairy products.
The distribution of food between countries is a phenomenon that historians call “delocalization of tastes”
Landed in Italy in the homes of wealthy families in 1940, from 1960 it became a household appliance within everyone's reach. Improved in technology and design, today the refrigerator is considered a true furnishing element and a symbol of conviviality.
What today is defined as a gastronomic trend, before the conquest of cold the only kind of food consumption was the Food Miles. The availability of exotic foods was almost nil, so, with an industrial revolution in full swing, the process of globalization and delocalization of taste began to develop, culminating at the end of the 20th century.
Other industries that have benefitted the most from commercial refrigeration systems included textiles, which used it for mercerization, whitewashing and dyeing, as well as sugar mills, confectioners, bakeries and chocolate factories, tea companies and yeast suppliers who found their commercial development in refrigeration.
In 1930 the refrigeration industry boomed after the discovery of Freon R12
In the wake of the discovery of the so-called CFCs, a new category of synthetic refrigerants, General Motors was the first and sole decision-maker company with patents for all refrigeration systems. In 1930 the refrigeration industry took off again: the refrigerator was considered an invention of global importance, able to improve the living conditions of all mankind thanks to its application in food preservation, therefore the patent was extended for the use and development of the entire industry.
Two main evolutions occurred: from the old generation CFC refrigerators, widespread in the 70s and 80s, to those called HFCs, to the most modern HCs that use refrigerant gases with low environmental impact.
With its colourful, minimalist or customizable aesthetics and its ever-improving performances, the refrigerator is a true business ally on which carefully weigh up the choice of purchase. A good refrigerator combines design with cutting-edge technology capable of promoting the commercial development of the entrepreneur who chooses it.
Framec, leader in the refrigeration market for 60 years, has given the right importance to innovation and design and today can boast a wide range of products able to satisfy the demand of different industrial realities that consider commercial refrigeration the centre of their business.
From products for ice-cream parlours (read more about Mirabella) to multi-temperature wine cellars (discover Venere WN) able to store different types of wine in a single display case, to commercial refrigerators for markets and restaurants: Framec, with its team of experts, is close to the customer's needs.