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Refrigeration Nation: A History of Ice, Appliances, and Enterprise in America (Studies in Industry and Society) Hardcover – Illustrated, December 15, 2013

3.6 out of 5 stars 5 ratings
Part of: Studies in Industry and Society (15 Books)

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Hardcover, Illustrated
$43.94 $14.98

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Editorial Reviews


A smart and illuminating book that will be of great interest to anyone engaged with either the history of technology or the history of food.

American Historical Review

Rees has written an entertaining, well-narrated, and well-researched book about building one root infrastructure of modern food systems. He brings this infrastructure to the foreground of U.S. history, and hopefully the book will reach a broad readership, both within history departments and a public with an interest in the intersections of the histories of food, business, and technology.

Business History

Refrigeration Nation is a well-written and useful book for both scholars and students . . . Rees presents a well-developed account of the importance of American enterprise and innovation in the national and global marketplace.

History: Reviews of New Books

A fascinating book.

Heritage Radio

Refrigeration Nation is a valuable, well-researched study, but it also suggests the need for more work on a subject that at first seems mundane and taken for granted but, upon greater inspection, is really quite fascinating and compelling.

Journal of American Culture

Jonathan Rees provides us a good history of the ice industry, cold chains, cold storage, refrigerated transport, and mechanical refrigeration in this valuable book.

Biz India Magazine

[Rees] delves into the very infrastructure of ice-making, chronicling the engineering feats, describing the machinery of temperature control, and a particularly appealing exploration of human ingenuity that has made refrigerated food the norm in American homes.

Food, Culture, and Society

Nowhere else can one find such rich information on everything from ice boxes to home freezers to refrigerated container ships . . . A most welcome contribution to our understanding of how Americans came to expect cold drinks, unpickled produce, and unsalted meats as a matter of course.

-- Shane Hamilton ― Agricultural History

Nowhere else can one find such rich information on everything from ice boxes to home freezers to refrigerated container ships . . . A most welcome contribution to our understanding of how Americans came to expect cold drinks, unpickled produce, and unsalted meats as a matter of course.

Agricultural History

Rees has written an outstanding, and outstandingly readable, account of an industry whose importance is exceeded only by its obscurity. In these days of increasing food consciousness, one can learn a lot about where those strawberries on your table come from and how they got there from reading Refrigeration Nation.

IEEE Technology and Society Magazine

Rees has written a solid, comprehensive account of the technological creation of cold chains in the United States. I wish this book had been available for me to read when I was doing my own research.

-- Mansel G. Blackford, author of Making Seafood Sustainable: American Experiences in Global Perspective

Americans consider their refrigerators and freezers as ordinary features of life, but that wasn’t always the case. In this fascinating and very well-written book, by America’s leading authority on the subject Jonathan Rees, readers learn just what it means to have their frozen dinners and drinks “on the rocks.”

-- Bruce Kraig, Professor Emeritus of History, Roosevelt University, Chicago

Book Description

How we keep food cold while the house stays warm.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Johns Hopkins University Press; Illustrated edition (December 15, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 248 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1421411067
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1421411064
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.86 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.6 out of 5 stars 5 ratings

Customer reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5
5 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on January 15, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on October 31, 2013
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Reviewed in the United States on September 7, 2020