"refrigerator" = "vessel", 1793 & 1803; antedates OED 1824-

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Jul 31 13:45:35 UTC 2009

Thomas Moore obtained a U.S. patent in 1793 for a crude refrigerator
he made to transport butter to his customers.  In 1803 he published a
pamphlet titled "An Essay on the Most Eligible Construction of
Ice-Houses and a Description of the Newly-Invented Machine called the

In Joseph C. Jones, Jr., _America's Icemen: An Illustrated History of
the United States Natural Ice Industry, 1665-1925_ (Humble, Texas:
Jobeco Books, 1984), p. 137.  Jones does not give his
sources.  Presumably a patent can be recovered; and Moore's 1803
"essay" is held by libraries and allegedly is in Early American
Imprints, Second series.

OED 1989 has for "refrigerator" sense 2 "An apparatus, vessel, or
chamber for producing or maintaining a low degree of temperature ...
b. Any vessel, chamber, or apparatus in which the contents are
preserved by maintaining a temperature near, at, or below freezing
point, esp. in the cold storage of food.", it's earliest quotation
for sense 2. being 1824.

Surely Moore's chest fits sense 2.b?

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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