Refrigeration

This passage describes ways in which people preserved food before the refrigerator was invented.

Lexile Level: 1120L

Categories: Science & Technology


The next time you take a cold soda from the refrigerator, think about how different things would be if you had been born before the invention of modern refrigeration technology. Although we take it for granted today, artificial refrigeration is a relatively recent invention. From ancient times right up through the early 1900s, people relied on ice to keep their food from spoiling. Early man packed game in snow to preserve it for times when food wasn't available. Later, people started harvesting ice from frozen lakes and storing it for future use. When insulation and storage techniques were perfected, ice became available all year long, even in tropical locations. The first U.S. patent for mechanical refrigeration was granted in 1851, but it would take another 80 years before refrigerators started coming into widespread use in homes. Today, the refrigerator is the most common home appliance. But many people still call it an "icebox."


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