This simple invention takes its name from the Western Australian gold-mining town where it was invented in the 1890s by clever miner Arthur McCormick. He designed a simple cool box that worked on the principle of evaporative cooling. With a light breeze, hessian covering and a little water, food could be kept a few degrees cooler than the outside temperature. These safes were often found on verandahs before the widespread introduction of domestic refrigerators in the mid-20th century.
Following the success of James Harrison’s commercial ice-maker in Victoria during the 1850s, engineer Eugene Nicolle and wealthy businessman Thomas Stucliffe Mort teamed up in Sydney to make further progress in refrigeration. Their feat: building the world’s first freezer works. In doing so, the duo invented the first process for preserving food by artificially freezing it. However, despite their achievement, they would still need to allay public fears by proving the food remained delicious once
After coming to Australia as a newspaper printer, journalist and later founding editor of the Geelong Advertiser, Scottish-born James Harrison invented one of the most significant inventions of the 19th century: mechanical refrigeration by way of the commercial ice-maker. The impact of his invention on extending the life of food eventually opened up global food industries, while changing global diets and food cultures. This is not even factoring in the impact keeping things chilled has had on ot
Clip from Aussie Inventions episode on Food Preservation. Why was there a surplus of meat? Why did ice have to be imported?
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