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Refrigerator - What's in a word?

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.
View User Profile for SteveGill Steve Gill has worked in the ACR industry for over 30 years as a contractor and consultant. He is a member of the Institute of Refrigeration Executive Council and a former Director of ACRIB. He was the winner of the ACR News `Consultant of the Year Award` in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
Posted by Steve Gill 07 February 2012 12:11:25 Categories: Fresh Talk


By Todd Hendricks
07 February 2012 12:14:25
I know this is an old blog but I hope it is not too late to say that this is truly inspired writing.
Fresh Talk from a wise industry man.
I hope this comment gets posted.
I have read many of the old blogs. All fantastic. The Steve Factor has to be one of the industry's best keep secrets
By A voter
07 February 2012 12:13:25
"......sometimes people need a gentle reminder."

Would that be the President of the IOR?
By Jason
07 February 2012 12:12:25
Steve, interesting blog as always - a history lesson with a moral. What will be next from you?

I didn't know that this is where the name refrigerator comes from.

There have been a small number of extremely famous Engineers and Scientists who have left a huge impression on our industry. We would not have an industry without them for sure. They have made truely giant steps, but i do like your reminder that the industry is made up of all sorts of people and we are the richer for it. We should embrace them all and acknowledge their contribution.

Look forward to your next one.
Comments are closed on this post.
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