Inventor William Cullen
William Cullen
Born15 April 1710
Died5 February 1790 | Age 79

William Cullen 1748

The first artificial refrigeration was demonstrated by William Cullen at the University of Glasgow, Scotland in 1748.

In his demonstration, Cullen used a pump to create a small vacuum over a container of diethyl ether. When the deithyl ether began to boil, it absorbed the heat from the container's surroundings, causing it to cool. This was recorded in his only published chemistry-related paper, "Of the Cold produced by Evaporating Fluids, and of some other Means of producing Cold".

Frozen in Time

The reaction to Cullen's invention though was less than lukewarm, in fact, it was decidedly chilly. The ice industry was big business.

Ice-harvesting companies would remove ice from frozen lakes and store it in ice-houses. Ice companies would ship ice around the country and throughout the world. The industry was a big employer and Britain was a cold country anyway.

Domestic Refrigerator

A inventor called Jacob Perkins came to England in 1818 and was granted the first patent for a 'vapor-compression refrigeration cycle', on August 14, 1835 his device was the first that resembled a fridge and was titled: "Apparatus and means for producing ice, and in cooling fluids."

It took around 150 years, 1000's of patents and ice that was contaminated from industrial pollution, before people began using refrigerators.
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