Ice-making machine

Ice-making machine

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Caption: Ice-making machine, 19th century artwork. This steam-powered machine was capable of freezing up to 1200 litres of water at a time. A steam engine drove ether evaporation by removing air from above the ether. This cooled the ether, which in turn cooled a strong brine solution. The cooled brine was circulated around the vessels containing the water to be frozen. This circulation of a cooling fluid is still the principle on which fridges work today. The first commercial refrigeration machine (1856) was patented by Alexander Twitton. Artwork from The Circle of Sciences, London, 1862-67.

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