ABC pays tribute to James Harrison

ABC pays tribute to James Harrison

Australian refrigeration pioneer James Harrison has featured in an episode of ABC rural affairs program Landline.

Ahead of the Scotland-born innovator’s birthday on April 17, the program charted Harrison’s exploits in creating an ice machine in his adopted Victorian home of Geelong in the mid-1800s.

Landline also explored reasons for Harrison’s lack of renown given the enormity of his achievements, and efforts by science, history and refrigeration buffs to establish a museum in his honour.

“There’s not much to see – a tangle of scrub at the base of a rock-strewn slope – but Rocky Point in Geelong is a site of world significance,” said Landline journalist Tim Lee.

“It was here in 1854 that inventor, journalist, and newspaper proprietor James Harrison had his eureka moment — successfully  trapping escaping gas and using it as a refrigerant.”

Via a series of experiments in his cave, Harrison found his way to refrigeration and ice-making, eventually establishing Australia’s first ice‑making machine. He ultimately established ice-making factories in the UK, Geelong, and around Australia.

Given his astonishing efforts in science, many wonder why Harrison is not a household name, like Westinghouse or Carrier.

As a follow-up to the Landline episode, AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH, featured as one of the expert guests on ABC Melbourne radio’s Conversation Hour about Harrison and his adventures in ice-making and refrigeration.

To view the program, click here.

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