Innovations in Commercial Refrigeration
The backstory on America’s most popular appliance 

Circa early 1900’s, the first electric refrigerators were developed in the United States. A major upgrade from the underground iceboxes of yesteryear—who’s drip pan had to be changed daily and relied on seaweed or sawdust to keep contents cool—these new units were still far from the refrigerators we know today. Their compressors were belt-driven and attached to motors located in a separate room. These machines also used ammonia (highly toxic!) as the main coolant, endangering all those within proximity.

Around 1915, Alfred Mellows developed the first self-contained refrigerator. In this model, the compressor was in the bottom of the cabinet. The Guardian Refrigerator Company began producing Mellow’s machine but was unable to mass-produce their high-quality product. Later, W.C. Durant (then president of General Motors) bought the Guardian Refrigerator Company and renamed it Frigidaire. Durant applied his knowledge of mass production tactics from the auto industry to Frigidaire and eventually branched out to produce water and milk coolers, soda fountain equipment and ice cream dipping cabinets.

Today, refrigerators rank as America’s most popular appliance. Located in more than 99.5% of homes and offices throughout the country, the cooling biz is h-o-t!

With our industry constantly evolving, it’s imperative for us as foodservice equipment pros to stay curious and energetic. From experimenting with new materials and components to increasing customer product sales and sustainability, we’re always working to find better food service equipment solutions for your business.

To learn more about our innovative commercial refrigeration solutions,  call 813.870.0340.