James Harrisson

Though his name is sadly not much known as other Australian icons, James Harrisson (1816-1893) was an important Scottish born Australian that has been involved in many big roles of the early Australian colonisation. He was a newspaper printer, journalist, politician and a pioneer of vapour-compression refrigeration system.

He came to Melbourne in 1839 as a journalist and was the first to start printing newspaper in Geelong. In the next few years, he began to develop an interest in ice making. Then, in 1856, he patented the practical vapour-compression refrigeration using ether, alcohol or ammonia. His invention brings him to a success, eventually establishing ice companies all the way to Sydney.

Unfortunately, his experiment to freeze meat for a long voyage failed horribly that the general public will not trust frozen meat for many years.

Later, he eventually returned to journalism and became an editor to the Melbourne Age (now known as The Age).

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