Where would the world be without the refrigerated truck? Without this miraculous invention, how would we transport dairy products, cold drinks, medicine, perishable foods like meat and produce, or even human blood? For that matter, if you have a refrigerator to store what I just mentioned. you are celebrating one of the most important inventions in modern civilization.

If your refrigerator has any produce from your local grocery store in it, you can credit African American inventor Frederick McKinley Jones. In 1940, the renowned African American inventor, entrepreneur, and winner of the National Medal of Technology received a patent for thermo-controlled refrigeration. He would hold 60 patents before he died in Minneapolis in 1961. The Jones roof-mounted cooling system made way for the refrigerated truck. It was a marvel and forever changed how refrigerated goods could be distributed around the world.

Known as the Thermo King, Frederick Jones and his refrigerated truck made a critical difference during World War II because it helped preserve and distribute life-saving blood, food, and supplies to the military. Learn more about his amazing story and other inventions below.

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