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  • June 19th, 2024

Bringing Change to the Meat Manufacturing Industry

Which Invention Had the Most Impact on the Meat Manufacturing Industry’s Revolution?

The refrigerated railway car, commonly known as the “reefer car,” was the most important invention that completely transformed the meat business. The 19th century saw the discovery of the reefer automobile. The meat was capable of being transported within a few kilometres before it went bad before this amazing discovery. This significantly reduced the meat industry’s potential.

Meat could now be transported over great distances while remaining fresh thanks to the invention of the reefer. This greatly expanded the market for meat producers and made it possible for them to ship meat to locations that were distant from the point of production. Large-scale meatpacking businesses and the expansion of renowned meat-processing hubs like Kansas City, Missouri, and the city of Chicago were further influenced by this.

The History of the Refrigerator Car

 In the first part of the 19th century, the American public came to realize that the railways were the fastest and most efficient form of transportation. It didn’t take long for several businesses to realize that trains could carry anything with ease.

Unquestionably, this included food. However, given that food may be putrefy naturally, this presented a problem. Additionally, refrigeration had not yet been developed by the beginning of the 19th century.

By 1851, the Northern Railroad in New York, which eventually became a component of the Rutland Railroad, had undertaken the first testing of reefers. Some unique features of these carriages were various forms of soundproofing and ice blocks that were used to keep the meals and other goods chilled.

Although it proved to be extremely effective, considerably better cooling and insulating techniques needed to be developed in order for the refrigerator car to be utilized all year round.

As a result, experimental refrigeration vehicles spread across 1850. Only a few straightforward alternatives, such as employing commonplace boxcars and basic ice cubes, were discovered.

Then, the first effective reefers, which had thick insulation, floor drains, roof ports, and ice bunkers at the vehicle ends, were found. The natural insulation in these automobiles included sawdust, cow hair mattes, and even plain old dirt. The first refrigerated automobile was invented in 1867 by JB Sutherland of Detroit, Michigan, utilising a unique design. In order to retain the food being transported fresh, he also sought to manage the airflow in the reefer.

Railroads were gradually embracing new cars despite these early technological advancements in refrigerated cars. On the basis of cost vs return, they opposed new technologies. Reefer cars later became one of the first privately owned vehicles to travel on railroads. They are also commonly referred to as private-car lines in the contemporaneous era.

Then, well-known companies like Swift and Armour quickly began to appear along the external surfaces of several reefers.

The first type of air conditioning was introduced in the refrigerated automobile in 1941. When the Pacific Fruit Company installed an alternator-driven fan system, this happened. The air was forced to flow in massive numbers by way of the ice shelters and out of inhibits that were near the ceiling by this unique technique. This helped to increase the refreshing atmosphere of the automobiles’ interiors.

Improved insulation methods were developed at the same time, including rubber sealing for the inside seams of cars. This aided in preserving the meals that are prone to going bad by keeping out outside air.

However, the 1950s boom in the frozen food sector was what eventually put an end to the refrigerator car’s monopoly on the delivery of perishable items.

By 2001, there were just 8,000 refrigerator vehicles left on the US market, which was a very low number. However, as producers and agriculturalists have regained confidence in railways to convey their important crops by train that number has once more climbed to more than 25000 in the modern period.

Benefits of a Reefer or a Refrigerated Vehicle

Beyond the advancements in technology that support maintaining biodegradable products at their ideal temperature, refrigerator cars have a wealth of advantages. These include

Environmentally Friendly Way to Manage Land Freight

A single liter of fuel from diesel engines can typically transport a ton of freight 470 miles on US freight trains. Trucks’ carbon footprint is reduced by 75% through this.

Efficacious in terms of cost

Comparing railroads to trucks, they often provide lower cost per ton mile.

Effectively Delivering Huge Volumes

The equivalent of three to four tricks may be transported in a refrigerated vehicle. As a result, supply chain efficiency may be increased when you want to distribute by train. Shipping that is less than a truckload is frequently an option for railways.

As a result, it is clear that the cooling systems of automobiles contributed to the enormous and amazing change in the meat sector.


What Has A Refrigerator Car’s History Been?

Refrigerator automobiles, sometimes referred to as “reefers,” were an amazing new concept. It helped keep freshness in biodegradable foods including meat, dairy, and vegetables. These refrigerator automobiles first appeared in the middle of the 19th century and were cooled naturally by ice.

Who Created the First Refrigerator Cars?

The inventor of refrigerated railcars was William Davis. Owner of a fish store, Davis based the design of his refrigerated boxcar on that of JB Sutherland, a fellow Detroiter who created vessels with ice and forced air circulation.

How Do Dry Reefer Containers Work?

A dry container modified to include cooling or refrigeration equipment is called a dry reefer. Products that need a dry environment and are sensitive to temperature are transported in these containers.
What Sets a Reefer Container Apart From a Regular Cargo Container?

Deliveries of common dry goods are made using standard dry containers. Reefer containers, contrary to popular belief, are used to transport goods that need to be kept at a specific temperature. The refrigeration unit installed in the frozen storage container is connected to an electrical power source. The refrigeration system is configured such that the container’s external dimensions meet ISO requirements and, as a result, fit into the container’s cell guidelines that surround the vessel.

An express reefer is what?

Express refrigeration cars were frequently found on passenger trains at the time. High-value, perishable items and crops that needed the quickest service that railways could provide could be delivered quickly with the help of these vehicles.

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