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. "A smart and illuminating book that will be of great interest to anyone engaged with either the history of technology or the history of food."—American Historical Review "Rees has written an entertaining, well-narrated, and well-researched book about building one root infrastructure of modern food systems."—Business History "Refrigeration Nation is a well-written and useful book for both scholars and students . . . Rees presents a well-developed account of the importance of American enterprise and innovation in the national and global marketplace."—History: Reviews of New Books "A fascinating book."—Heritage Radio 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.
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