Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
Frederick Jones, Inventor

Fredrick Jones and the Thermo King – How one man shaped refrigerated trucking and shaped the way we live today

less than a hundred years ago, it was nearly impossible to receive fresh food in any form. That was until Frederick Jones invented refrigerated trucking as we now know it.Without a doubt, reefers are taken for granted. This section of the transportation industry hauls around 90% of all the food we eat.

However, less than a hundred years ago, it was nearly impossible to receive fresh food in any form. That was until Frederick Jones invented refrigerated trucking as we now know it.

Salting meat was a preservation technique before the invention of refrigerated trucking

Meat was once salted, not for taste, but to preserve freshness.

To fully explore the long road to refrigerated trucking, we need to go back before the 1800s when keeping something fresh was out of the question. Eating perishable foods was a huge risk that could often lead to illness, diseases, and even death.

In the past, the best way to keep something cold was to keep it near a bottle of water containing saltpeter. This would not so much keep something cold as it would keep the product from entirely decomposing.

This is also the main reason why so many foods used to be coated in salt. It was the only easily accessible way to keep meat and vegetables from becoming completely rotten. While capable, this method called Salting, was not 100% effective and still led to diseases to spread through foods.

Insulated Rail Road Car

Before refrigeration, rail cars were insulated with large bricks of ice and layers of steel.

It was not until after the American Civil War, during the Reconstruction of America, that the foundations of refrigerated transportation began. Certain rail cars were made significantly more insulated to maintain a desired temperature.

This alone was not enough to keep goods cold. Manufacturers of ice saw an opportunity to produce a new solution by filling these rail cars with ice, to keep produce as cold as possible for the duration of the trip.

Ice Harvesting

Ice Harvesting was required to maintain the temperature of any meat that had to travel.

However, due to the explosion of the ice market, many companies cut corners. Most notably, companies would use contaminated or impure water to produce ice. This led to many issues when it came to the safe transportation of goods.

Still, issues regarding the safe transportation of meat and produce plagued the industry.

Frederick Jones, inventor of Refrigerated Trucking

Frederick Jones was the inventor of Refrigerated Trucking as we know it today.

It was not until Frederick Jones developed a cooling system that refrigerated the interior of a trailer that the safe transportation of meat and produce was secured.

Frederick Jones was an incredible inventor responsible for working on or building from scratch several devices and gadgets still used today.

Displaying a predilection for learning how machines worked, Frederick Jones grew to be a renowned auto mechanic and after a fruitful stint in the army during World War 1, put his talents to use transporting doctors to their house calls in the most efficient ways possible.

Early Frederick Jones Invention

An early invention of Frederick Jones to transport doctors as fast as possible during winter conditions.

Due to the icy Minnesota winters, Frederick Jones developed different ways to maximize a doctor’s time. From equipping his automobile with skies and an airplane propeller to ensure fast travel, to creating a portable X-Ray machine, Frederick Jones never stopped innovating.

After helping convert a silent theater to a theater equipped with sound, Frederick Jones was given the task to develop a system to transport temperature-sensitive goods in a truck safely.

Doing so, Frederick Jones developed a way to cool the truck and maintain its temperature throughout the duration of a cross-country trip. This process developed into an air conditioning unit that would go on to be called “Thermo King.”

Further replication and iterations upon the Thermo King unit led to similar successes with train cars and cargo ships. With wider access to temperature-controlled environments, grocery stores were able to import and store a wide variety of goods that required constant temperature control during transportation.

These are the kinds of trailers that ShipEX is proud to use every day. Safe delivery of your freight not only means that your goods arrive in one piece but also providing the peace of mind that your goods have been transported at the exact temperature specifications you need.

In fact, Thermo King reefers have advanced far beyond just keeping supplies completely temperature controlled. Modern Thermo King reefers allow customers to see up to the minute updates on exactly what temperature their freight is set at.

The ability to receive constant and automatic updates as to the freshness of your freight is a major advancement in the transportation industry. We can not only print out historical readouts of temperatures for any given date range, the temperature in our reefers can even be controlled from our office computers.

It is safe to say that without Frederick Jones and his innovative development of the refrigerated truck, we would not have the same supermarkets or the access to fresh foods that we enjoy today.

Modern Grocery Store

The modern grocery store would not exist, were it not for the safe transportation of temperature sensitive goods.

Learn more about the history of trucking by reading our past blog posts about the Why We Are Paid In Cents Per Mile or The Brief History of ELDs.

Disclaimer:
This blog post is for informational purposes only.  ShipEX makes no warranties about the completeness, reliability or accuracy of this information.  Any action that you take upon the information on this website is strictly at your own risk, and ShipEX will not be liable for any losses and damages in connection therewith.  Furthermore, nothing in this blog alters ShipEX Policies which are subject to change without notice.

VADIM KOMAROV