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History of Commercial Refrigeration

Could you imagine a world without refrigerators? No way to preserve meats, dairy, vegetables or chill beverages? Yes, that means your customers would be forced to imbibe warm beer. Nasty.

Did you just feel a little sad inside? Sick? Some combination thereof?

Yeah, us too.

So how did commercial refrigeration start? Let’s take a quick history lesson!

The first refrigeration machine was designed by American inventor, Oliver Evans in 1805. This design was used by American physician John Gorrie to develop a machine to cool the room in which his yellow fever patients were hospitalized. It wasn’t until 1876 that refrigeration technology became sophisticated with the innovation of liquefying gas. The result was the first consumer refrigerators—functioning with liquefied gas, coil, and compression of gases—available for purchase.

Oliver Evans designed this refrigeration machine

This new innovation swiftly caught on in the brewing industry. For the first time ever, breweries were able to make a consistent product that was available to buyers at all times. As the years progressed, new features were added to refrigerators, allowing for more commercial use. In the early 1900s, the meat industry adopted the refrigerator as a means to prevent disease from spreading and to keep meats staying fresher longer.

Unfortunately, as was discovered in the 1920s, liquefied gases can lead to a number of causalities. This resulted in manufacturers switching to coolant gases, such as chlorofluorocarbons, which soon became the industry standard. However, those chlorofluorocarbons were later discovered to be harmful to the ozone layer. In answer, hydrofluorocarbons were developed and remain today’s industry standard.

Your businesses’ commercial refrigerator is leaps and bounds ahead of its ancestors. We thank our commercial refrigerators for keeping our meats edible, our dairy unspoiled, our vegetables fresh, and our beer drinkable so our customers remain satisfied.

Have any questions about your commercial refrigerator? The professionals at Best Refrigeration Co., Inc., Sales & Service are always happy to help.