Refrigeration may not have been the most spectacular development in mechanical engineering but its impact on society is very significant. In the UK the Industrial Revolution transformed the country from a mainly agricultural nation to a manufacturing one and this accentuated the need for preservation and transportation of food. As urban growth developed, it became increasingly difficult to feed the nation from the produce of the traditional rural economy. Country people who could afford it enjoyed fresh meat and those living by the sea had easy access to newly caught fish. Those in towns, however, were dependent on horse-drawn transport, and preservation by smoking, salting or pickling developed. Taste was often improved by spices but the demand for highly spiced food diminished in the eighteenth century. The need for food preservation, however, increased. At the turn of the nineteenth century, food preservation was achieved by heating in a sealed glass jar and then allowing the contents to cool. Tinplate cans evolved from this process, adding the advantage of not being breakable.
KeywordsToxicity Convection Torque Steam Transportation
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