The Evolution of Refrigeration

Here at Ben’s Refrigeration, we tackle commercial refrigeration for a range of businesses and on a range of scales. Refrigeration is something that many of us take for granted, but years ago this idea would have been unimaginable, especially on a large scale. Nowadays refrigeration is imperative to helping us maintain a healthy diet and it is hard to imagine a life without it. At Ben’s Refrigeration, we pride ourselves in helping businesses achieve their desired refrigeration goals. This article will take a look back in time to the days before refrigeration was invented, and hopefully, by the end of the passage, you will have a new found appreciation for the work Ben’s Refrigeration does.

Life Before Refrigeration

People have been trying to keep items cool through keeping them at lower temperatures for thousands of years. Seasonal ice harvesting was the primitive form of refrigeration that was used for centuries dating back to before 1.000 BC. Ice was dangerously collected from rivers and lakes to keep items cool. In the 1830’s increasingly more people were using ice to cool their food as ice-storehouses and ice boxes became more readily available. Ice exports even began with the USA exporting ice to the Caribbean and Southern States. As ice consumption continued to grow a ‘cooling culture’ was created, and the icebox became a common household item.


Artificial Refrigeration

Many inventors saw beyond the primitive use of ice as a method for cooling and began experimenting with artificial refrigeration in the mid–1750’s. They played with mixing certain chemicals together to create a temperature reducing reaction. The first notable invention was created in 1755 by William Cullen, a professor from Scotland. He created a machine that could make a small amount of ice using ether. It wasn’t until the middle of the 19th century that the first refrigerator was created, and in 1856 an Australian named James Harrison was the first to enlarge the design of these machines for use in a commercial setting. Mass production of refrigerators didn’t begin until around one hundred years later, and it is now a global necessity which most of the population use.

We can all be very grateful that we no longer have to go and gather ice to keep our perishable items fresh. Refrigeration on a large scale allows us to transport food all over the world, provides us with a huge selection of fresh foods in stores and supermarkets and allows us to keep food fresh in our kitchen on a door to open. If you are interested in this miraculous feat of commercial refrigeration look no further than Ben’s Refrigeration. Here we are refrigeration experts who provide commercial refrigeration units on a small or large scale, from cafe chiller units to small supermarkets. We also provide a 24/7 emergency call out system in case any rare issues arise with refrigeration equipment that needs to be fixed by a skilled service engineer.
If you don’t want to get stuck in the ice age call Ben’s Refrigeration on 0800 303 884
Or you can request a free no obligation quote on our Contact Page.

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