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Aussie ingenuity on show

The History Channel is running a new series called Aussie Inventions That Changed The World, and it includes an episode dedicated to refrigeration.

“Historically, Australia has punched well above its weight on the world stage of timely innovations, scientific breakthroughs, and cleverly designed new technologies,” say the creators.

“Throughout its history this continent has produced an impressive line-up of tenacious inventors, each who envisaged a better way of doing things by finding material answers to the problems of their time, often in the face of enormous resistance. Their work has forever changed the way we live, both in Australia and around the world.”

As well as celebrating the usual heroes – the Hills hoist, bionic ear, pacemaker and wifi – the series has dedicated one episode to Australian advances in refrigeration.

It features the godfather of refrigeration James Harrison, as well as other lesser-known pioneers from around the country. These include Thomas Mort and Eugene Nicolle in New South Wales who adapted and improved on Harrison’s technology to build the world’s first freezer works to produce artificially frozen food. Also remembered is Western Australia’s Arthur McCormick, who came up with the Coolgardie food safe that ran on evaporative cooling. And Tom Angove in South Australia gets a mention for inventing the wine cask.

The refrigeration episode screens on July 29 and shows how the above inventions were game-changers for food preservation.

“What’s really exciting about this series is that it will remind Australians that, at our best, we are a progressive, innovative country,” says host Matt Parkinson. “We thrive on challenges and these invention stories are all about people who backed themselves against the odds.”

Aussie Inventions That Changed The World screens on Mondays at 7.30pm on Foxtel’s History channel.

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