Norske kjølerom, kjølehjørner & kjøleaggregaterNorwegian Cold Rooms, Corner Fridges & Refrigeration Units

Refrigeration History

A Little History from Norway and the Rest of the World

A bit of Norwegian History...

The first refrigerators in Norway resembled something between a safe and a chest of drawers, they were built in wood with a drawer at the top for ice blocks and a larger cupboard door below for food. The walls were often insulated with iron plates so they were quite heavy.

Compressor refrigerators first became common in Norwegian homes from approx. 1960, before that there were common freezers inside the cities that you could rent space for food and fur coats.

Cold rooms as we know it today, came to full capacity approx. 1980 when it became common and make cold rooms at home for large families. As time has passed the market has changed a bit, the cold room have become on average somewhat smaller than in the 80s, when people built large cold rooms in their houses with for potatoes, and space for fur coats, and homemade jams.

Now the cold rooms are smaller and more flexible with slightly more varied sizes, before the cold rooms were around 8m3 +/- today the average is on «calculated guess» 3m3 +/-.

The areas of use are as large if not larger today, but the quantities of food are greatly reduced. Many people use cold rooms today as before for storing apples, potatoes, vegetables, honey, home-made jams, maturing av a slaughter during the hunting season, and wine. The biggest change in the market in application in recent years is that it becoming common to have a cold room or a corner fridge in a cottage, as this is where families gather during holidays and thus the need for cold rooms is great.

World History...

Mechanical cooling for the Refrigerator was invented in 1876 by the German engineer Carl von Linde. The invention of mechanical cooling was first tested at a brewery in Munich, after which beer was no longer a seasonal product.

In 1902, the first modern air conditioning was designed for the industry, but in 1925 came the first air conditioning we as we know it today in an American cinema named Rivoli, located in Times Square. Its inventor was named Willis Carrier. The customers poured in, mostly to cool off during the hot summer. It  was a very profitable summer that year for the cinema.

I have registered many links about heat pumps here at, for those who are interested I can also mention that heat pumps are not a new invention, Thomson Kelvin introduced the heat pump principle as early as 1852 and the first industrial heat pump was installed in Norway as early as 1918. That is, the heat pump came before the refrigerator.