The Design Of The Ice Chest Box

- Apr 18, 2020-

The first recorded use of refrigeration technology dates back to 1775 BC in the Sumerian city of Tera.

It was there that the region's King, Zimri-Lim,

began the construction of an elaborate ice house fitted with a sophisticated drainage system 

and shallow pools to freeze water in the night.

Using ice for cooling and preservation was nothing new at this point,

but these ice houses paved the way for their smaller counterpart, the icebox, to come into existence.

The icebox was invented by an American farmer and cabinetmaker named Thomas Moore in 1802. 

Moore used the icebox to transport butter from his home to the Georgetown markets, 

which allowed him to sell firm, brick butter instead of soft, melted tubs like his fellow vendors at the time. 

His first design consisted of an oval cedar tub with a tin container fitted inside with ice between them, 

all wrapped in rabbit fur to insulate the device. Later versions would include hollow walls 

that were lined with tin or zinc and packed with various insulating materials 

such as cork, sawdust, straw or seaweed.

A large block of ice is held in a tray or compartment near the top of the box. 

Cold air circulates down and around storage compartments in the lower section. 

Some finer models have spigots for draining ice water from a catch pan or holding tank. 

In cheaper models, a drip pan is placed under the box and has to be emptied at least daily. 

The user has to replenish the melted ice, normally by obtaining new ice from an iceman

The design of the icebox allowed perishable foods to be stored longer than before 

and without the need for lengthier preservation processes such as smoking, drying, or canning.

Refrigerating perishables also had the added benefit of not altering the taste of what it is preserving, 

unlike the other previously mentioned preservation methods.

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