Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thomas Moore-Invented Machine Called the Refrigerator.

Thomas Moore was a civil engineer and farmer who developed one of the earliest refrigeration devices. It was constructed by placing a tin box inside an oval cedar tub and filling the gaps between box and tub with ice. The whole was then covered cloth lined with rabbit fur for further insulation.  Moore described in great detail his new invention in his work, An Essay on the Most Eligible Construction of Ice-Houses. Also, A Description of the Newly Invented Machine Called the Refrigerator. Thomas Moore. Baltimore: 1803. He developed it to transport butter from Georgetown to his home in Montgomery County, Maryland. As a farmer who lived near Sandy Spring, Md. he sent butter and other produce 20 miles south to Georgetown or Washington, D.C. markets at night.  By using his new box, the night travel was not necessary.  The butter stayed firm and sold for 4d to 5 1/2d per pound higher than other's butter, thus paying for the box after four trips.
In a letter dated June 21, 1802, Moore invited Thomas Jefferson to view this new refrigerator. Jefferson made a sketch of the device in the margin of the invitation. Two years later the notation "Paid Isaac Briggs for Thos. Moore 13.D. for a refrigerator" appears in his Memorandum Books.


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