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Very cool: celebrate World Refrigeration Day and 170 years since James Harrison’s commercial refrigeration invention

June 26 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm AEST

By celebrating James Harrison’s achievements on World Refrigeration Day, 26 June, local organisations seek to restore wider understanding of his work and contributions to society. Modern refrigeration still relies on the processes that he designed, engineered and patented 170 years ago in what Europeans considered to be the far-flung colonial backwater of Geelong. It is now Australia’s only UNESCO City of Design. The designation was awarded in 2017 in part because of Harrison’s commercial ice-making invention and its outstanding contribution to humanity’s health and well being.
GRBNT and the Geelong Showgrounds Museum, assisted by the Royal Geelong Agricultural and Pastoral Society (RGAPS), are re-establishing knowledge of how Harrison’s commercial ice-making invention has aided advances in science, medicine, and food manufacture, preservation and transport. Climate control has extended humanity’s range of habitation, even into space.

– Open Days will be held on June 26 and 29 at the Geelong Showgrounds Museum 10 am – 4 pm; tickets through Trybooking at
The Museum has a collection of early domestic refrigerators (it took other inventors 70 years to scale Harrison’s process down to domestic size), panels showing Harrison’s life and times, and farming memorabilia.
– An evening event will be held on World Refrigeration Day for invited industry representatives and supporters.
– There will be a public event at 11 am on 27 June at the Eastern Cemetery, Ormond Rd, East Geelong to mark refurbishment of Harrison’s grave by his descendants.

At all events, engineer Warwick Brice will demonstrate how ice was made in 1857 with his 1:10 working model of the machine (pictured) that Harrison perfected in London. It made 3 tons of ice a day, and with it Harrison launched Australia’s first ice works in North Geelong in 1859.


June 26
10:00 am - 4:00 pm AEST
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