For learning. For inspiration. Or just for fun.
King William IV (1830-1837)
How the British Invented Cool : Michael Faraday showed that gases could be compressed and evaporated to preserve food and make ice.
How the British Invented Cool

The development of modern refrigeration involved French, American and Australian inventors, but it was a Scottish professor and an English chemist who made the key breakthroughs.

JANE Austen enjoyed eating ices and sipping French wine at her wealthy brother’s Godmersham home, courtesy of his ice-house, a brick-lined dome sunk into the ground, in which ice could remain frozen for years.

Ice-houses allowed confectioners such as the ‘Pot and Pineapple’ in Berkeley Square to sell elaborate, high-quality ices to the gentry who stopped by in their carriages, and supply the best parties and balls.

In 1756, however, one year before the ‘Pineapple’ opened, Glasgow professor William Cullen had demonstrated that evaporating ether would draw heat from water and make ice.

Michael Faraday subsequently showed how to compress and evaporate the gas endlessly to maintain steady cooling, allowing Jacob Perkins to patent the first vapour-compression refrigerator on August 14, 1835.

A commercial version was demonstrated by Frenchman Ferdinand Carré at the Universal London Exhibition of 1862, and in 1918 American giant Frigidaire began mass-production.* Soon Jane Austen’s treat was on everyone’s table.

* The word ‘fridge’ is in fact derived from Frigidaire and not from refrigerator. Early refrigerators were, like vacuum-cleaners, nicknamed after their most prominent manufacturer.

More like this

Discovery and Invention (66) Victorian Era (61) History (405)

Picture: © Nonnietang, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0. View original
Ice cream with strawberries, blueberries and mint. Ice cream as a confection, even an art form, has been around for much longer than one would suppose; but as so often happened, it was capitalism and the industrial revolution that combined to make a dainty for the rich into an everyday treat for the poor.
Mr Faraday Part One

Amazon Books

Featured Music

Letters Game

Make words from two or more of the tiles below. What is the highest-scoring word you can make?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: High Tiles Games with Words

Numbers Game

Make the total shown using two or more of the numbers underneath it. You can add, subtract, divide and multiply. Use any number once only.

More like this: Target Number (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic

Selected Stories
Elfric of Eynsham
Elfric, Abbot of Eynsham in the reign of Æthelred the Unready, reflects on two appearances of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
The proof of Thomas Ferres’s rags-to-riches tale is quite literally written in stone, but popular lore adds some tantalising and romantic detail.
Music by Edward Elgar
Edward Elgar suffered from depression, and ‘Nimrod’ is his token of thanks to the true friend who supported him through it.
By Jane Austen
True moral integrity comes from within.
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
St Bede says that Christ’s Transfiguration should remind us that we live in two worlds at the same time.
Based on a short story by Amy Walton
Part One. Ruth Lorimer’s strangely comfortless life changes when she finds a scruffy little cat on the stairs, but not everyone is pleased.