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"The principles of refrigeration explained." Produced by Jam Handy for the US Navy.
United States Navy training film MN-2246a.
Originally a public domain film from the US Navy, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
Wikipedia license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
First refrigeration systems
The first known method of artificial refrigeration was demonstrated by William Cullen at the University of Glasgow in Scotland in 1756. Cullen used a pump to create a partial vacuum over a container of diethyl ether, which then boiled, absorbing heat from the surrounding air. The experiment even created a small amount of ice, but had no practical application at that time...
An American living in Great Britain, Jacob Perkins, obtained the first patent for a vapor-compression refrigeration system in 1834. Perkins built a prototype system and it actually worked, although it did not succeed commercially.
In 1842, an American physician, John Gorrie, designed the first system to refrigerate water to produce ice. He also conceived the idea of using his refrigeration system to cool the air for comfort in homes and hospitals (i.e., air conditioning). His system compressed air, then partly cooled the hot compressed air with water before allowing it to expand while doing part of the work needed to drive the air compressor. That isentropic expansion cooled the air to a temperature low enough to freeze water and produce ice, or to flow "through a pipe for effecting refrigeration otherwise" as stated in his patent granted by the U.S. Patent Office in 1851. Gorrie built a working prototype, but his system was a commercial failure.
Alexander Twining began experimenting with vapor-compression refrigeration in 1848, and obtained patents in 1850 and 1853. He is credited with having initiated commercial refrigeration in the United States by 1856.
Meanwhile in Australia, James Harrison began operation of a mechanical ice-making machine in 1851 on the banks of the Barwon River at Rocky Point in Geelong, Victoria...
Australian, Argentine, and American concerns experimented with refrigerated shipping in the mid 1870s; the first commercial success came when William Soltau Davidson fitted a compression refrigeration unit to the New Zealand vessel Dunedin in 1882, leading to a meat and dairy boom in Australasia and South America. J & E Hall of Dartford, England outfitted the 'SS Selembria' with a vapor compression system to bring 30,000 carcasses of mutton from the Falkland Islands in 1886.
The first gas absorption refrigeration system using gaseous ammonia dissolved in water (referred to as "aqua ammonia") was developed by Ferdinand Carré of France in 1859 and patented in 1860. The Servel company built gas powered, absorption refrigerators in Evansville,IN from 1927 through 1956. In the United States, the consumer public at that time still used the ice box with ice brought in from commercial suppliers, many of whom were still harvesting ice and storing it in an icehouse.
Thaddeus Lowe, an American balloonist from the Civil War, had experimented over the years with the properties of gases. One of his mainstay enterprises was the high-volume production of hydrogen gas. He also held several patents on ice-making machines. His "Compression Ice Machine" would revolutionize the cold storage industry. In 1869, other investors and he purchased an old steamship onto which they loaded one of Lowe's refrigeration units, and began shipping fresh fruit from New York to the Gulf Coast area, and fresh meat from Galveston, Texas back to New York. Because of Lowe's lack of knowledge about shipping, the business was a costly failure, and it was difficult for the public to get used to the idea of being able to consume meat that had been so long out of the packing house.
Domestic mechanical refrigerators became available in the United States around 1911...