There is one invention in my kitchen I particularly enjoy. Not my dishwasher, though I wouldn't want to live without it, or my stove. No, my favorite invention is my icemaker. It's built into the door of my fridge and even crushes the ice that I add to my glass of Dr. Pepper.
Believe it or not, I have access to that wonderful icemaker because of the beef industry. Inventors had already worked to develop commercial refrigeration. It was Andrew Muhl, though, who created the first commercial ice-making machine in San Antonio, Texas in 1867.
Before that, ice had to be harvested from lakes and rivers. These blocks would be stored in ice. This was done in the North.
During the American Civil War, the supply of ice was cut off. Necessity leading to invention the way it usually does, Texans saw a need and led the way in developing a means to create artificial ice. They had Texan beef to maintain and transport.
Speaking of transport, even before the war a Texan envisioned a way to keep meat cold while ships moved the meat.
In 1834, Henry Peyton Howard of San Antonio became the first person to use mechanical refrigeration to keep beef from going bad during transit. Cattle lost 40% of their weight if shipped while still on the hoof, so to speak. Sending it by the halves or quarters in a refrigerated compartment saved money and meat both.
Fresh hamburger, crushed ice, and my Dr. Pepper. Lots to thank Texas for when I visit my kitchen.
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With a new name, Grace Winkelman fled west to teach in a small town. How could she anticipate her past following her that far?
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I'm happy to learn that refrigeration was a few years earlier than I had realized. I know Pullman had a refrigerated railroad car about 1869. Like you, crushed ice for my Cherry Dr Pepper is a necessity.ReplyDelete