Nothing beats ice cold beverages on a warm summertime day, or perhaps after an intense work out at the health club. Obviously to get a chilly drink calls for a lot of ice. Those of us that are fortunate enough have a constructed in ice manufacturer in our refrigerators. However even then, the ice that these constructed in devices make are in some cases lacking in that they do not generate sufficient, particularly if a lot of people want to consume alcohol ice cold drinks with ice. For that reason one could take into consideration acquiring a small ice maker.
While the ice machines that we see in the pub and catering trade today seem industrial and modern, the process of making ice to chill our beverages has not always been this way. Ice machines have not always been the method of getting ice; they are in fact relatively new phenomena in the world of refrigeration.
The earliest methods of refrigeration included heading to the mountains and gathering snow and ice, this was then placed in a hole in the ground and food was then put into the hole. This method however was mainly reserved for the rich and was also fraught with danger as heading to the mountains carried its own inherent risks. A machine built for the purpose of making ice came into existence.
In this early stage of the development of ice machines it is estimated that around that population had a cool pit in their homes, it is believed that the other half had no refrigeration systems at all. At this time, ice machines were reserved for the extremely wealthy, an oil tycoon had a mechanical refrigeration machine in his house, but this was definitely the exception to the rule.
During these early years ice machines used rather lethal gases in the refrigeration process. Up until the thirties ammonia, methyl chloride and sulphur dioxide were regularly used as refrigerants. These gases did in fact cause a number of deaths in the twenties and understandably a number of corporation backed scientists searched for a more viable and safer refrigerant. Their search was fruitful, they discovered Freon, while its effects on the environment were not yet known, at the time it was far preferable and rapidly became the refrigerant of choice in home refrigeration systems.
The fridge became popular in many homes as they became a mass produced item. Developments such as automatic defrosting and ice making using rubber ice cube trays became apparent and their place in the modern kitchen became assured. The seventies and eighties saw recognition of the dangers of CFCs to the environment and the efficiency of refrigerators was increased.
Today the fridges that fill our kitchen are far more efficient than their predecessors, with incorporated ice machines that have done away with the cube tray. Today the refrigerator has become an integral component in any kitchen; most households would be lost without one.