Refrigerators

by Pessimists Archive

Refrigerators are unnatural, unhealthy, and probably just a fad — at least, that’s according to the people who once sold ice. But the history of refrigeration actually raises some very real, very relevant questions: What’s natural? How should innovation work? And why do some businesses guarantee their own failure?

EPISODE NOTES

• Dog A Fake Hero – New York Times, 1908

• Girl Bitten Trying to Make Peace Between Dog and Cat, 1909

• He ate dog meat and liked it, 1909

• Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1833, on shipping ice to India

• New Orleans Crescent, 1848: We need ice!

• Three Stooges: “An Ache in Every Stake”

• Goodhart’s Law

• Charles Dickens, The Uncommercial Traveller, 1861

• More about the Paris Morgue

• Raw water report on KOIN 6

• Why Big Companies Can’t Innovate, Harvard Business Review

• Ice and Refrigeration, 1924: Will the refrigerator put the ice man out of business? Nah.

• Natural ice ad, 1927

• Jonathan Rees’ books on refrigeration: Refrigerator, Refrigeration Nation, Before the Refrigerator

• “Innovation and its Enemies” by Calestous Juma

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