On August 8, 1899, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent to Albert T. Marshall of Brockton, Massachusetts, for his household refrigeration device. It was the first such machine to be patented in the U.S. This and many other innovations in refrigeration revolutionized food distribution, as refrigeration allows perishable food to travel vast distances over a long period of time.

Throughout history, devising a means to artificially cool products and environments has been important. In prehistoric times, people used ice for this purpose; beginning around the middle of the 18th century, engineers began using machines to create artificial refrigeration. But it wasn't until Marshall's method that a device was deemed worthy of a patent in the United States. The patent helped refrigeration technology become a marker of a modern home in a developed country.

developed country
Noun

a nation that has high levels of economic activity, health care, and education.

device
Noun

tool or piece of machinery.

Noun

the way something is spread out over an area.

Noun

water in its solid form.

patent
Noun

legal right to make or sell an invention.

prehistoric
Adjective

period of time that occurred before the invention of written records.

trademark
Noun

word or symbol used by manufacturers to label their products.

vast
Adjective

huge and spread out.

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