Think about your fridge for a moment. Probably not something you do everyday. Which is the point of this post.
A refrigerator gets plugged in, and pretty much just runs. (There’s a joke in there somewhere.)
And the fridge runs, and it runs, and keeps on running… until it doesn’t.
A fridge is a vital appliance that we use everyday, and we depend on its reliability to sustain us with sustenance. There’s not much upkeep, except perhaps for wiping down the shelves every so often and dumping weeks-old yogurt from the back corner.
Now think about NOT having a fridge.
In the broad scope of civilization, it wasn’t that long ago when humans had no such contraption like a large electric cupboard that kept food cool.
Between the times of no-fridges (around the mid-19th century) to yes-fridges (around the 1930s), most households used iceboxes. Ice companies would deliver blocks of ice, which would then be placed in the icebox– like the one pictured below–to keep foods cold.
This particular icebox, and the accompanying *ahem* instruction manual pictured at top, can be found at Smithville Mansion in Eastampton, NJ, where my family and I visited last spring. Seeing this neat, old household mainstay made me want to hug my fridge at home. What a difference a couple of centuries can make, amiright?
And to think that the manual for a refrigerator has evolved from a half page of vague notes to a half volume of detailed images, directions, and more (in multiple languages) is also notable.
But then again, I guess it doesn’t take much for an icebox to run.