Black History Month Myth – The refrigerator.
It’s February. Once again public schools, libraries, and even your local media are promoting fallacies in the name of “black history.” Many of the “black history” falsehoods include various inventions attributed to blacks. The bogus claims amount to the theft of recognition and attribution from genuine white inventors.
Myth of the day :Thomas Elkin, a Black Man, invented the Refrigerator in 1879. WRONG!
The first person to demonstrate that a mechanical refrigerator was possible was William Cullen at the University of Glasgow in 1748. William Cullen was a white man.
The first working mechanical refrigerator was made in 1805 by Oliver Evans, a white American man. Jacob Perkins and John Gorrie designed the first mechanical refrigerators suitable for commercial use in the 1830′ and 1840’s. Both were white American men. In 1876 a German patented a process for liquefying gas that led to the creation of more modern and safer refrigerators.
In 1879, a Mulatto cabinet-maker by the name of Thomas Elkin received a patent for a non-mechanical cooler designed to chill human corpses. On the patent he called it “refrigerator apparatus.” During the 1800’s what we today call coolers were often called “refrigerators.” Black history mythologists have taken the name “refrigerator apparatus” and turned that into the “first refrigerator”, implying that he invented the first mechanical refrigerator.
Thomas Elkins in no way contributed to the design of the refrigerator in your kitchen.
Above is a diagram of Elkins non-mechanical cooler.