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Appliances History Learning Center

History of Refrigerators

If you have to name one appliance in your kitchen that you use the most, what would it be? For most people the answer is their refrigerator. Whether it be a thousand years ago or today, various kinds of refrigeration systems are used to store foods safe and secure. The main goal has always been to keep the low and cold temperature in a given space to prevent food from spoiling. However, the method of doing that is constantly changing because of the nonstop advancing technology.

In the past, salt and ice has been used to prevent food from spoiling. However, that system has changed tremendously over time. Nowadays, it requires very little or no work at all to achieve a cold/freezing temperature to store your food for a very long period of time without damaging it. If you compare the kitchens from years ago to the type of kitchens we mostly see today, from design to advanced features each kitchen appliance, including the refrigerator has changed for better.

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The First refrigerators that look similar to what we have today were called ice boxes and they were popular in England during the early 19th century. Most models had a vertically oriented rectangular shape with cabinets, shelves and doors with a simple pull. Most ice boxes were packed with various insulating materials such as cork, sawdust, straw or seaweed. Ice boxes were compact non-mechanical refrigerators that worked with just an ice block placed in the drawer above the door. The man who delivered the blocks of ice were called icemen and they distributed ice on a regular basis to apartments and houses. The use of the Ice Box lasted well into the 1920's and 1930's.

To take things up a notch, an alternate form of refrigeration emerged. The first electric refrigerator was introduced to citizens at an affordable price. It was around the 1940s when the change from “ice box" to working vapor-compression refrigerators occurred in the United States. The refrigerators of the 1940's ensured safe food storage. The first electric refrigerators were also a vertically oriented rectangular shape with shelves and doors.

These refrigerators run by using a compressor where a circulating refrigerant transform from vapor into liquid. Then the air will be cooled to room temperature under pressure, before being released back into circulation. The sudden change will turn the refrigerant into vapor again, which draws the heat from the air in the refrigerator. In order to bring changes to satisfy the customers, manufacturers tried to bring new designs and manufactured monitor top, three-door units and single-door units. However, single door units were the most preferred model.

Modern refrigerators have come a long way. Since the 1950's these improvements have continued to bring consumers various designs and energy-efficient refrigerators from which to choose. Some even have a vintage look dating back to the 1940's-50 with all the specifications of a 21st century refrigerator. The perks of being able to purchase a refrigerator in our day and time is the simple fact that we have so many options from which to choose.

Some examples of modern refrigerator designs include: bottom freezers, top freezers, French door designs, counter depth or built-in options, compact to customizable panel ready refrigerators. There have been countless types of refrigerators that have been created to meet all the demands of the customer by offering various options from which to choose. There are even different types of refrigerators for almost every type of food and drink. For instance, if you don't want to dig through your vegetables and fruits to find your beer from the back of your refrigerator, there are beverage centers just for that purpose. If you want to keep your wine stored separately while preventing them from getting spoiled, you can easily do that with wine coolers. In addition to these specialized models, today's refrigerators comes in several different types. For instance, you can purchase a freestanding model that will stand without any support or you can purchase a built-in model that you will build into your kitchen cabinetry for a clean look. When choosing a refrigerator, You should pick your style, consider what size is best, think about what features you are looking for, and choose your color preference. With appliances connection you can easily get it delivered to your home.