Refrigeration Nation (Paperback)

A History of Ice, Appliances, and Enterprise in America (Studies in Industry and Society)

By Jonathan Rees

Johns Hopkins University Press, 9781421419862, 248pp.

Publication Date: June 15, 2016

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (12/15/2013)

List Price: 29.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Only when the power goes off and food spoils do we truly appreciate how much we rely on refrigerators and freezers. In Refrigeration Nation, Jonathan Rees explores the innovative methods and gadgets that Americans have invented to keep perishable food cold--from cutting river and lake ice and shipping it to consumers for use in their iceboxes to the development of electrically powered equipment that ushered in a new age of convenience and health.

As much a history of successful business practices as a history of technology, this book illustrates how refrigeration has changed the everyday lives of Americans and why it remains so important today. Beginning with the natural ice industry in 1806, Rees considers a variety of factors that drove the industry, including the point and product of consumption, issues of transportation, and technological advances. Rees also shows that how we obtain and preserve perishable food is related to our changing relationship with the natural world.

About the Author

Jonathan Rees is a professor of history at Colorado State University-Pueblo. He is the author of Industrialization and the Transformation of American Life: A Brief Introduction and Refrigerator.