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Refrigerator

A refrigerator (colloquially fridge, or fridgefreezer in the UK) is a popular household appliance that consists of a thermally insulated compartment and a heat pump (mechanical, electronic or chemical) that transfers heat from the inside of the fridge to its external environment so that the inside of the fridge is cooled to a temperature below the ambient temperature of the room. Refrigeration is an essential food storage technique in developed countries. The lower temperature lowers the reproduction rate of bacteria, so the refrigerator reduces the rate of spoilage. A refrigerator maintains a temperature a few degrees above the freezing point of water. Optimum temperature range for perishable food storage is . A similar device that maintains a temperature below the freezing point of water is called a freezer. The refrigerator replaced the icebox, which had been a common household appliance for almost a century and a half. For this reason, a refrigerator is sometimes referred to as an icebox in American usage.

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The first refrigerator

It was in 18th century that the process of invention of refrigerator started. In 1748 William Cullen of University of Glasgow developed a process for creating an artificial cooling medium. No one took interest in it for commercial or home consumption, it only attracted scientific attention. An American inventor Oliver Evans made the first design for the refrigerator in 1804 but until 1834 none was interested in the same. Jacob Perkins built the first refrigeration machine in 1834. In 1844, a physician John Gorrie built a working unit on the basis of Oliver’s designs. He constructed this unit to create cooling atmosphere for his patients who were suffering from yellow fever. In 1876 Carl von Linden invented the improved method of liquefying gas and got it patented. This was a great help in the creation of practical refrigerator. Ammonia, sulfur dioxide and methyl chloride were utilized for the formation of this gas which led to many accidents. The need led to the development of Freon and was used in bulk till it was found that it was not environment friendly and affected the ozone layer. The gas compounds have now changed to safer compounds which compress and heat up working to cool the inside air of the refrigerator. Without this adjustment the working of the refrigerator seems impossible. It has been a work of many great inventors that the present form of refrigerators has simplified the work. whoinvented.org

Contributed by Desire Nicole

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