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There are many things we take for granted. Often, we don’t even think about them until something goes array. Like refrigerators. They work hard all day and night, 365 days a year without a break. If we are lucky they will survive many years without a hitch. Their sole purpose? To keep our drinks cold and food fresh or frozen – ultimately resulting in less trips to the grocery store. So, when our refrigerator suddenly stop working or our electricity supply is cut off this sends us into panic mode – what do we do now?
Turn back the clocks to the ages of hunter gatherers and the notion of storing foods wasn’t even a thought. Whatever food was hunted and gathered was simply consumed. As times changed though and hunting for food diminished, people had to start finding ways to keep food fresh. That’s when people started pickling, smoking and curing foods.
Natural sources such as streams and caves were a great cooling option. The deeper the cave in the earth, the cooler the air would be. Streams also offered a way to cool things faster due to the flowing water moving around the object.
As the ages progressed other solutions developed including holes in the ground, nooks in wooden walls, and storing in cooler locations such as cellars, or in wooden or clay containers. Community cooling houses were an integral part of many villages to keep meat, fruit and vegetables stored. At various points in time ice houses were built often underground or as insulated buildings – these were used to store ice and snow sourced during winter, to keep foods cold during the warmer months.
There was also the ice box which referred to a wooden insulated crate with ice, essentially what Australians refer to as an Esky, however we’ve modernised it with materials that offer longevity and colder cavities. In some countries ice was purchased so households could use an ice chest – which was three insulated boxes (similar to a fridge cavity) – ice was placed in the top box, food in the middle and a tray in the bottom (to catch the water which inevitably dripped down as the ice melted).
So, before refrigerators came along people couldn’t necessarily keep things from perishing with the available technology or natural resources so they gathered as they needed.
It wasn’t until the 1800s that the idea of a refrigerator started to take form and over the forthcoming centuries is the necessity we know today.
Liebherr refrigeration began its story out of a production facility in Ochsenhausen, Germany, established by Hans Liebherr in 1949. During a time when only 10% of German households owned a refrigerator, fast forward to today, Liebherr manufacture and distribute a vast array of refrigerators and wine cellars to all corners of the globe. With superior German engineering, Liebherr is leading the world in design, innovation and energy efficiency.