Refrigeration Research Blogs

The Chrysler Airtemp Radial Compressor

Early Variable Capacity Compressor

Jim Nelson 0 226 Article rating: No rating

As part of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of Refrigeration Research Inc. we are looking back at the refrigeration industry when the company began in 1944. Chrysler Airtemp developed a unique radial compressor which resembled the large radial engines used on aircraft at that time in World War II. It used a hydraulic variable capacity control to cut in or cut out cylinders in response to the heat load on the system. This improved the efficiency and help better maintain steady temperatures which were needed for precise machining and measuring of parts for the aircraft industry. The massive effort by manufacturing to support the military benefitted the refrigeration industry with new innovative designs and ideas inspired by the need to aid in the war effort even though new refrigerators were mostly unavailable to the public until after the war ended.  

The Norge Rollator

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The Norge Company rose to prominence in the refrigeration industry to become the second leading manufacturer under the leadership of the president of the company,Howard Blood in the 1930's.Blood combined style and innovation to produce the most efficient and reliable models. The unique "Rollator" rotary compressor was the heart of their system unlike all the other models on the market which used reciprocating compressors. 

A Pioneer Dies

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Herbert C. Kellogg established the Temprite Products Company in 1929 and it continues today as a major manufacturer of components for the refrigeration industry. However, before it focused on components it was also a manufacturer of complete assemblies, most notably the Temprite Cooler which was the fruit of meticulous experimentation by Mr. Kellogg.  

The Inventor of Fast Food

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Louis A.M. Phelan and Clifford Hotchkiss combined their fertile minds to produce many original ideas for the control of refrigeration equipment. After applying for and receiving several patents in the area of electrical switches, they formed the Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corporation in Beloit, Wisconsin. They were the first to effectively utilize mercury as a conducting fluid inside an evacuated tube containing contacts which became the forerunner of the thermostat of the Honeywell Corporation after they purchased the rights from Phelan and Hotchkiss. The two men also developed the first electro-mechanical switches which became the forerunners for contactor switches and relays so widely used throughout the refrigeration industry.

The Leonard Refrigerator

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Charles Leonard improved the sanitation of the Ice Box by introducing removable liners and flues. The Leonard Refrigerator Company eventually produced electric refrigerators and became one of the largest producers in the USA until it merged with Kelvinator Corporation.

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