Old invention deserves a new life

August 20, 2008 By Peter

In 1858 Ferdinand Carré invented a cooling device, based on the work of Michael Faraday, that can work without electricity.

More recently an enterprising Adam Grosser proposed re-introducing his redesigned version Carré’s invention to parts of the world where refrigeraion is not available and where it could save lives.

Crosley Icy Ball
Crosley Icy Ball

According to Grosser, he has made the Crosley device safe and workable. Apparently, as invented, the original would be dangerous in underdeveloped countries, because it runs the risk of exploding. Not just exploding but exploding amonia.

Grosser’s adaptation can be fired up with available fuel, even camel dung. After an hour or so of heating the device, put it in an insulated box, and it keeps its surroundings just above freezing.

The icy ball has a cool history. Crosley marketed it as a referating device and even tried making a go of a refrigerated or air-conditioned bed.

Crosley Air-Conditioned Bed
Crosley Air-Conditioned Bed

In the interests of saving energy and the planet, some of us keep our homes cooler in the winter and do like grandma with lots of down and a night cap. Seems there might be a market for opening the windows on hot summer nights, letting the house get a litter warmer than we’d like, while sleeping in an efficiently air-conditioned bed.

Video: Adam Grosser: A new vision for refrigeration

Peter Lloyd writes Right Brain Workouts for IdeaConnection.

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Reader Comments

Any idea of the value of an icyball
It still works and has the ice tray
Posted by Leonard Carter on July 9, 2010

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