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Fridges General Interest Refrigerators

Who Invented the Refrigerator?

Most of us use our refrigerators every day to keep our food cold and to keep our beverages icy chilled. While the refrigerator  has become a staple in everyday life, not many know about its historical origins. So, exactly who invented the refrigerator? Take a look at the following timeline of who invented the fridge to get a good sense of the roots of this vital appliance.
A Timeline of Cooling
The concept of cooling food to keep it fresher longer has been around since the days of the ancient Egyptians, a culture which froze water at night to keep perishable foods cold during the day. But landmarks leading to the modern refrigerator happened in more modern times. From the discovery of the temperature lowering properties of cooling gases to revolutions in beer production, take a look at these founding fathers of cold.

  • 1720: Dr. William Cullen studies the cooling effects of liquids evaporating in a vacuum, the process by which we cool foods today.
  • 1834: Jacob Perkins produces his own ice making machine, using an ether vapor compression cycle.
  • 1856: James Harrison hires a brewery to make an experimental machine to cool beer.
  • 1859: Ferdinand Carre (France) invents the first refrigeration machine using water and ammonia.
  • 1873: The first portable refrigeration machine produced by Carl von Linde in Munich.
  • 1894: Linde AG (a refrigeration company started in 1878) installs a cooler at the Guinness Brewery in Ireland, revolutionizing how beer is manufactured.
  • 1911: General Electric unveils their refrigeration model, invented by a French monk.
  • 1918: The popular brand Kelvinator becomes a new brand, named after the famous scientist Lord Kelvin, who invented a temperature scale used commonly in science.
  • 1920: More than 150 different models of domestic refrigeration units available on the market, although domestic uses of fridges didn’t become popular until after World War II.
  • 1923: Kelvinator the most popular brand of fridge, dominating 80% of the market.
  • 1925: Electrolux introduced the D-Fridge into the market, one of their most popular models.
  • 1936: The common coolant R-134a is produced by Albert Henne, revolutionizing cooling efficiency in the home.
  • 1937: Refrigeration becomes commonplace in America, with more than two million households containing the appliance.
  • 1939: General Electric introduces a fridge with both freezing and cooling sections.
  • 1955: More than 80% of Americans have a refrigerator in their home.
  • 2005: 99% of Americans own and operate a fridge at home.

 
Invention of the Fridge
As you can see, the answer to who invented the refrigerator is a little more complex than a simple name. In reality, when we examine the invention of the refrigerator, the cooling units we know and love today are in fact a long compounding of countless scientific discoveries and engineering feats. From Lord Kelvin to the Kelvinator refrigerator, the road to the Common Cool has been a long and interesting one.
 

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Fridges Refrigerators

Old versus New: Choosing a Kelvinator Refrigerator

When investing in new appliances for your home, you want the best quality you can get for the best price. As far as a Kelvinator refrigerator goes, you may have heard tales from family and friends of their own Kelvinator that has lasted twenty years or of the fridge that never breaks. But which of these rumors can be trusted and which are old wives tales. Taking a look at the benefits of both new and old Kelvinators should help clear the waters in a very murky pond.
 
The Old Models
 
Older models of Kelvinators are notorious for being the tank food coolers that never stop running strong. There are even some tales of older Kelvinator fridges that are up to twenty years old and still keeping the family’s milk cool. This is why purchasing an older fridge is a viable option for many families. Occasionally older models are discarded, potentially allowing you to get free freezers or refrigerators with no financial outlay. Some of the considerations for an older fridge include:

  • Less Complicated: Face it, older models of fridges do not have the intricate functions that newer fridges have. This makes them easier to use and work on during a repair.
  • Steady Track Record: If you choose an older fridge, chances are it’s been running strong for a long time. Many of these models experience little to no problems during their lifetime, or only need minor repairs.
  • Power Consumption: Older fridges will consume more power though, increasing your electricity bill, sometimes substantially. If you choose to get an older fridge, know that it will cost more.
  • Environment Friendliness: Older fridges often were built in a time where certain environmental regulations were not in place. If you are concerned about Earth-friendliness, running an older fridge may not be for you.
  • Less Expensive: Often, you can find a used, older Kelvinator for much less than a new model.

If you plan to buy a used older model of fridge, make sure to ask the previous owner of any problems or repairs they have encountered. Always look under, around, and inside a used fridge, looking for cracked plastic or sealants. Also look for dripping or an “ozone” smell, which indicates leaking coolant. While you may have to shop around for an older fridge in good condition, the time will be worth it.
 
Newer Fridges
 
Many people love their new Kelvinator refrigerators and many hate them. It all depends on what sort of use your fridge will take and what you are looking for in an appliance. Generally, Kelvinators got good reviews in mechanical functioning with little breakdown in the actual cooling mechanism. Customer service was lacking, though. Generally, those who dealt with a local dealer had a better overall repair experience. But the main complaints with newer Kelvinators were the construction, including:
–  Poor plastics design (hinges and such not sturdily designed)
–  Weak shelving (shelves falling when overstocked)
–  Faulty sealants (sealants not closing properly)
Problems with these aspects can all be avoided by proper fridge use. Don’t stack heavy objects on the door. This will only break shelving and throw the hinges off alignment. Also, be gentle with your fridge. Don’t slam doors or cram items into shelving.
 
Choosing Your Kelvinator Fridge
 
Overall, a Kelvinator fridge is a good investment, whether you choose an older model or a new appliance. With older models, make sure to look for leaking or cracking before purchasing. With newer models, be careful of overstocked goods with damaged doors and plastic pieces, which are not as sturdily designed as some other models.