Who Invented The Refrigerator?
Who invented the refrigerator? There are differing of opinions as to the answer to this question, because numerous inventors added their ideas to what eventually became an integral staple in every kitchen. The name "refrigerator" was not used by the early experimenters and was first claimed by Thomas Moore in 1800 when he invented a cedar tub that he covered with ice and rabbit fur.
Much earlier in time, men tried to create a way to keep food cold. In 1626, Francis Bacon filled a chicken with snow to preserve the meat while most people kept their food cold in icehouses that were packed with snow and ice. In 1748, William Cullen, a Scottish chemist at the University of Glasgow, used artificial refrigeration to produce ice in a "refrigerating machine". Oliver Evans, an American inventor, designed an apparatus in 1804 but never built one. The one who first had his invention patented was Robert Perkins in 1834, when he used vapor compression in the first working prototype. Carl von Linden also received a patent in 1877 from the German Imperial Patent Office using an improved method of liquifying gas in a refrigerator. However, there are those who insist that a United States physician, John Gorrie, invented more of a practical refrigerator when he constructed a working unit in 1844 based on Oliver Evans' design.
General Electric made the first wood refrigerator in 1911 designed by French physics teacher Marcel Audiffen. He got patents for his design in 1895 and 1908. With improvements, by 1927 over a million units were produced. At first the motor, compressor, and other mechanical parts were located in the basement or in another room and the "cold box" itself was in the kitchen. Frigidaire introduced the first self-contained refrigerator in 1923. These appliances were so desired that the first ones cost from $714 to $1,000, while a car in those days cost approximately $500!