I was told recently by a very excited and surprised person that the term 'refrigerator' was first coined by a dairy farmer called Thomas Moore in 1803 and not by a famous engineer. It seems that the milk from his cows was churned into butter which he took to market and sold.
Moore devised an icebox that would enable him to transport the butter at a lower temperature that his competitors in the warmer months. It was made out of a cedar tub which was insulated with rabbit fur, filled with ice and wrapped in a piece of sheet metal. It contained no moving parts or mechanism of any kind.
Moore noticed that people at the market would chose his butter over that of other farmers which had softened up, whereas his was wrapped up and still in firm individual blocks. His patented 'refrigerator' was a very simple but effective device which resulted in his clients apparently prepared to pay a premium for his butter.
It is all too easy to assume that our industry has been, and is only being created and shaped by eminent scientists and engineers of the past and present. Moore's story not only shows the essential part that consumers play but also that lesser mortals than great academics can also leave their mark.
It is all too easy for some to overlook the essential part that practical people play in this industry. In fact, without the experience, knowledge and practical skills of the hands-on technicians, as well as the commercial acumen and products produced by the likes of dairy farmers and other food producers we would not even have an industry.
The ACR industry is as rich in its diversity of applications as it is in the range of people that help to make it what it is today. We shouldn't be surprised by this, but sometimes people need a gentle reminder.