Harrison, James

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b. 1816 Glasgow, Scotland
d. 3 September 1893 Geelong, Victoria, Australia
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Scottish pioneer of the transport of frozen meat.
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James Harrison emigrated to Australia in 1834, and in 1840 settled in Geelong as a journalist. At one time he was editor of the Melbourne Age. In 1850 he began to devote his attention to the development of an ice-making scheme, erecting the first factory at Rodey Point, Barwin, in that year. In 1851 the Brewery Glasgow \& Co. in Bendigo, Victoria, installed the first Harrison refrigerator. He took out patents for his invention in 1856 and 1857, and visited London at about the same time. On his return to Australia he began experiments into the long-term freezing of meat. In 1873 he publicly exhibited the process in Melbourne and organized a banquet for the consumption of meat which had been in store for six months. In July of the same year the SS Norfolk sailed with a cargo of 20 tons of frozen mutton and beef, but this began to rot en route to London. The refrigeration plant was later put to use in a paraffin factory in London, but the failure ruined Harrison and took all his newspaper profits.
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Further Reading
J.T.Critchell, 1912, A History of the Frozen Meat Trade, London (gives a brief account of Harrison's abortive but essential part in the transport of frozen meat).
AP

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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