FREDERICK McKINLEY JONES
Frederick McKinley Jones’ inventions revolutionized the refrigeration units used on trucks, trains and airplanes so that foods and medicines could be transported safely all over the world. He was bom in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was orphaned when he was nine years old. Sent to live with a priest in Kentucky, Jones was schooled in the Catholic faith until he left for Hallock,Minnesota, in 1912.
He worked fixing farm equipment while studying mechanical engineering. Returning to Minnesota after serving in World War I, Jones became interested in race cars and the entertainment industry. He built Hallock’s first radio station transmitter, and a soundtrack systern for motion pictures.
Fascinated with the challenges of machines, Jones was very inter¬ ested when he overheard his boss, Joseph A. Numero, puz¬ zling over the problem of refrig¬ eration in trucks that had to transport temperature sensitive cargo. There were refrigerating devices at the time, but they were unable to withstand the move¬ ment of the trucks, and they took up valuable space.
With these concerns in mind,Jones began to experiment with new refrigerator designs. First he attached a unit to the bottom of the truck, learning quickly that mud would inevitably clog it up and destroy it. When he attached a unit to the top of a truck, Jones knew he’d found the answer.
Not only did Jones recognize the numerous possibilities, but his boss did as well. Forming the US Thermo Control Company, Jones and Numero began to refrigerate not only trucks, but planes, ships and trains.
Receiving over 60 patents for his inven tions — 40 for refrigeration alone — Jones made it possible for the nation, and then the world, to transport fresh fruit, vegetables dairy products and meat to any destination through refrigerated storage. His shockresistant refrigeration units led to a new frozen food industry in America,
Though Jones’ inventions were original-ly used for commercial transportation, it soon became apparent that medicinal transportation could be life-saving. During World War II, it was Jones’ original designs that made it possible for blood and medicine to be kept fresh for the victims of warfare. Jones was not only a creative genius, but a lifesaver of American servicemen.