Historical Minute - April 2013
“Picnic Basket Wanted.
The Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Chicago is offering a cash
award of $500 [$7,500 in today’s dollars] to the inventor of a refrigerated
picnic basket, compact enough to fit easily into the average car, roomy enough
to hold a sizeable lunch, and inexpensive enough so it may be retailed at $20
[$300 in today’s dollars] or less. The refrigerating system of such a basket,
Ray D. Smith, president, suggests, would probably be operated by the motor
through a plug-in conveniently located. Insulation, he states, would
necessarily be important.”
—“What’s Going on in the Mechanical Refrigerator Field,” Ice
and Refrigeration, May 1937.
ASHRAE advances the arts and sciences of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world. With more than 53,000 members from over 132 nations, ASHRAE is a diverse organization representing building system design and industrial processes professionals around the world.