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Refrigerator Design and Size

The kitchen stove has a logical history that stretches back centuries, moving slowly from a simply enclosed fire to the latest in dual fuel without ever completely losing its connections to the past. The kitchen refrigerator, however, seems to have sprung up overnight, like a chilly Athena from the forehead of Zeus, bearer of electricity.

As a freestanding consumer appliance—by far the largest in the kitchen—the mechanical refrigerator went from nonexistent to ubiquitous in about 100 years, and nowhere more astoundingly than in the United States, where more than 99% of households have at least one and that one is far larger than those typical in the rest of the industrialized world.

This rush of development and subsequent adoption can be divided roughly in three parts: (1) ...

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