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The Einstein Refrigerator: Built to Last 100 Years

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The unknown whiz-kid who whips up the next great invention in a garage is part of our modern mythology. But what happens when one of the greatest minds in theoretical physics takes on a completely mundane task, reinventing a common household appliance?

In 1926, five years after winning the Nobel Prize in Physics, Albert Einstein read a news story about the death of a Berlin family, killed by toxic fumes that leaked from a broken seal in their refrigerator. Dangerous leaks like this were becoming an alarmingly frequent occurrence as old-fashioned ice boxes were replaced with modern refrigerators that used poisonous coolants.

Einstein became preoccupied with this tragedy, insisting that a better refrigerator design must be possible. He and former student Leó Szilárd – a gifted young physicist who went on to conceive the nuclear chain reaction and electron microscope – set out to find one.

Their approach to the problem sidestepped all conventional thinking about refrigeration. Because refrigerator leaks are usually caused when bearings and seals wear out, the team believed they could prevent this danger by designing a device with no moving parts: no motor, no mechanical motion, nothing to wear out. They used their knowledge of thermodynamics to produce an absorption refrigerator, a device that drove a combination of safer gases and liquids through three interconnected circuits. It required only a small pilot light as a heat source and was hermetically sealed and safe — so safe that some experts estimate the casing could last 100 years.

Patent diagram for an Einstein-Szilárd refrigerator and a physical prototype with beautiful Art Deco styling, by engineer Albert Korodi.

There were many challenges to overcome. Some of the designs were too noisy, some not as efficient as they would have liked. But Einstein’s years as a patent clerk served the team well. Together, he and Szilárd received 45 patents in six countries for refrigeration technology.

Yet none of their inventions ever reached customers. A worldwide depression, growing political instability in Europe, and the introduction of the less-toxic coolant freon discouraged Einstein and Szilárd from continuing the project. Ultimately, appliance manufacturer AB Electro Lux bought their key patents, and that was the end of the Einstein refrigerator.

Or was it? Times have changed. A refrigerator that lasts 100 years and uses less energy looks tantalizingly attractive as we try to discover ways to live with more efficient, less disposable things. And concerns are mounting about the coolant freon, now recognized as a serious environmental hazard. Could the Einstein refrigerator be poised for a comeback?

It just might be. In 2008, Time honored scientists at Oxford University – led by engineer Dr. Malcolm McCulloch – with a “best invention” award for new research based on the Einstein-Szilárd designs. McCulloch said the Oxford team was developing more robust versions that could be used in areas without electricity, and that these improvements might quadruple the appliance’s efficiency. They’ve also looked into providing the necessary heat source through a small solar thermo device. “No moving parts is a real benefit because it can carry on going without maintenance,” McCulloch said. Dr. McCulloch told me earlier this month that the final paper on this project was now being written and will be made available to the public.

The Einstein refrigerator is an example of a design from the past with exciting new possibilities. We have become accustomed to thinking that all important inventions lie somewhere in the future. But when it comes to solving today’s problems, it feels good to know there might be good, useful, very smart ideas just waiting to be rediscovered. Although it’s 86 years old, the Einstein refrigerator could be one example of an idea whose time has finally come.

Karen Brown is an award-winning designer and creative director of the Center for Ecoliteracy. Her work has been included in the Smithsonian Institution and Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and featured in The New York Times, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, and on Today on NBC. She believes that the handmade movement is a fundamental force for transforming society and the economy.

3 Featured Comments

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  • agilitycns

    CHANDLER DENNY says: Featured

    I was so blown away by this 20 years ago, I did my very first speech in college on this very subject. To my surprise, even over my nervousness, the class was quite intrigued. This took me in a technical direction as I run a Chicago Technology Services Provider in Chicago. Great picture and article, there is always a reason to come back to the blog.

    1 year ago

  • shellsherree

    Shell-Sherree from ShellSherree says: Featured

    What brilliant minds and how exciting that an idea's time can come, even decades later. Anything that is more environmentally safe and sound has to be good - I'm glad there are such bright sparks out there continuing to look at things and revisit old ideas with open minds. Thanks for the wonderful article, Karen.

    1 year ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown says: Featured

    Where I live, people are also looking to other ways of preserving food, bringing back old recipes for canning, pickling, fermenting, and putting up all kinds of preserves. A farmer in the area has slowly developed his own hard shell squash. He calls it "Earthquake" because it can protect the squash for a year if we lose power for a long time due to an earthquake!

    1 year ago

  • CafePrimrose

    Amanda Gynther from CafePrimrose says:

    Sounds like a great fridge! My husband, a PhD in physics at Vienna Tech, is sitting beside me giggling. He is quite happy you are discussing Einstein. People need to talk more science in the USA. It is an endangered species in our education system. Thanx Etsy!

    1 year ago

  • volkerwandering

    Jess from volkerwandering says:

    What a great read! I had no idea Einstein had something to do with refrigerators!

    1 year ago

  • newhopebeading

    newhopebeading from newhopebeading says:

    cool article! who knew?

    1 year ago

  • everythingok

    everythingok from everythingok says:

    This is so cool! (Pardon the horrible, completely unintentional pun)

    1 year ago

  • minouette

    Ele from minouette says:

    A very interesting article!

    1 year ago

  • agilitycns

    CHANDLER DENNY says: Featured

    I was so blown away by this 20 years ago, I did my very first speech in college on this very subject. To my surprise, even over my nervousness, the class was quite intrigued. This took me in a technical direction as I run a Chicago Technology Services Provider in Chicago. Great picture and article, there is always a reason to come back to the blog.

    1 year ago

  • samsnatural

    Sam's Natural from SamsNatural says:

    Great story! Thanks for sharing ~ always great to learn something new here.

    1 year ago

  • lovelygifts

    Linda from lovelygifts says:

    Interesting article! Who new?!

    1 year ago

  • TheWindowArtisan

    Susan Spurr from InSpurations says:

    T I M E I N G ! is everything. Great blog post. Thanks

    1 year ago

  • SeanClayton

    Sean Clayton from SCGlassStudio says:

    Thank you for sharing. Surly interesting.

    1 year ago

  • DecadesOfVintage

    DecadesOfVintage from DecadesOfVintage says:

    you never know. thanks so much for a great piece.

    1 year ago

  • chickfamilyink

    Shane Chick from chickfamilyink says:

    Was there anything that man couldn't do?

    1 year ago

  • EmiliaFaith

    Edie Ann from OhHoneyHush says:

    Wow, so interesting!

    1 year ago

  • LeasaMarie

    Leasa from LeasaDesigns says:

    Interesting how everybodies mind work - scientific?, creative? etc. ..

    1 year ago

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage says:

    Fascinating! My neck of the woods celebrates his birthday, but never heard about this.

    1 year ago

  • OuterKnits

    OuterKnits from OuterKnits says:

    A true renaissance man!

    1 year ago

  • silviaberrios1

    Silvia Berrios from DesignsbySilvia says:

    Fascinating article, every day there is always so much to learn!!

    1 year ago

  • RenataandJonathan

    Renata and Jonathan from RenataandJonathan says:

    Great fascinating story !

    1 year ago

  • fitzroyandcole

    Mirjam Cole from fitzroyandcole says:

    What an interesting and timely article. It would be fantastic if it could be developed so that more people could have acess to refrigerated goods at low energy /high efficiency levels. It would transform health care in the third world. And on a purely selfish note; it would be great if that really annoying low level hum could be got rid of too ! Einstein you got to love him x.

    1 year ago

  • VortexGlassWorks

    VortexGlassWorks from VortexGlassWorks says:

    We are being programmed to believe the His-story that is given to us by the conquers. There is evidence All over the world of past civilizations that were much more advanced than us. Tesla was inspired by the great Pyrimid in Egypt, 2000 yrs old batteries were discovered in the Middle-east, The Dogon Tribe of Africa have symbols for what we are discovering today about Atoms with Quantum Physics. The Mayans built temples that relate to temples built thousands of years earlier in Egypt. What was going on ? There is a better way! as long as people can profit from selling "stolen" "fossil fuels" or selling "Genetically Modified Organisms" (GMO's) we may never know. We must stand up for the Earth to protect what is ours or we will end up like Mars! Blessings to All .

    1 year ago

  • VoleedeMoineaux
  • modulem

    Marisa S from modulem says:

    Brilliant article on a great idea; science is just the bee's knees, isn't it?

    1 year ago

  • manzanitakids

    David and Adrienne from manzanitakids says:

    Wow! Fascinating article, thanks for sharing this story!

    1 year ago

  • francie1948

    Francie Taylor from legendarycrochet says:

    WOW! what a great blog post :) Very interesting and fun to read, thanks for sharing.

    1 year ago

  • songbird58

    songbird58 from songbird58 says:

    He was an amazing man for sure.....thanks for sharing your knowledge in this blog!

    1 year ago

  • prettydreamer

    pamela from prettydreamer says:

    thank you , Karen! I really enjoyed reading this post.

    1 year ago

  • BijouxOdalisque

    Bijoux d'Odalisque from BijouxOdalisque says:

    A retro, and all pun intended...super cool idea! Einstein is the original wikipedia for today's inventors. How exciting to dig through his past inventions and pull up schematics that follow a "less is more" approach that works for our environment today. Now if we could thank him by letting him see this infamous"God Particle" we've created. That would really blow his socks off. Thank you Karen for another fabulous article that keeps the wheels grinding!

    1 year ago

  • ErikaPrice

    Erika from ErikaPrice says:

    What an amazing article, I had no idea he had done this! Thank you for sharing the story, Karen!

    1 year ago

  • klb00e

    Mother Lark from MotherLark says:

    Such a cool article. Thank you so much!

    1 year ago

  • Easy123

    Michele from Easy123 says:

    Great article! Certainly a brilliant individual. Thank you for the great story.

    1 year ago

  • mbartstudios

    mary and cory burrows from mbartstudios says:

    such an inspiring article! it's amazing to realize what we are possible of creating. thanks for including my clock in the post! -mb.

    1 year ago

  • eclectivist

    Kasia from Eclectivist says:

    Great article, I really enjoyed learning about Einstein and his refrigerator adventure. I'm fed up with appliances with a short life spam that force us to buy their replacements, time we start creating things that last! I hope to see this design brought to life (and the market) in the near future!

    1 year ago

  • rosecasanova

    rose from rosecasanova says:

    Karen, it's nice to know that Einstein left a legacy of ideas we are just beginning to use. Can you imagine what other great ideas people have or had that never saw the light of day? I wonder what else is buried in the patent files? I'm sure there is some pretty cool stuff! Thanks for including my book. I am honored to be a part of your blog today.

    1 year ago

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie says:

    That's great! I had no idea! Thanks for sharing!

    1 year ago

  • dragonhouseofyuen

    Annette from TheLeveretsNest says:

    thanks for the great article Karen, and etsy! Love reading about how knowledge from the past is so pertinent and essential for the present and future.

    1 year ago

  • shellsherree

    Shell-Sherree from ShellSherree says: Featured

    What brilliant minds and how exciting that an idea's time can come, even decades later. Anything that is more environmentally safe and sound has to be good - I'm glad there are such bright sparks out there continuing to look at things and revisit old ideas with open minds. Thanks for the wonderful article, Karen.

    1 year ago

  • VerbenaPlace

    David and Helen Worcester from VerbenaPlaceJewelry says:

    Very interesting! Thanks for the article.

    1 year ago

  • Talking1

    Richard - TalkToMeGuy says:

    Another fun Etsy blog... mind opener, from Karen! I can't help but say... Back to the Future!

    1 year ago

  • GracefullyGirly

    Kimberlee from GracefullyGirly says:

    I've loved Einstein and his out-of-the-box thinking for ages, since I first learned about him in grade school. I didn't know about this foray into refrigeration though. It's so intriguing! I hope it can be resurrected and modified, as needed, to work even more efficiently with solar energy. Astounding! Thanks for the article.

    1 year ago

  • fieldtrip

    Amy from fieldtrip says:

    What an enjoyable piece! I'll be delighted to learn if Einstein's innovations in this area are eventually used to build a more eco friendly refrigerator. When you imagine how many are purchased every year around the world and that that number is likely growing it's exciting to imagine the impact of these improvements on the environment!

    1 year ago

  • lizhutnick

    Liz Hutnick from LizHutnick says:

    Fascinating. I often wonder what Einstein would have done with today's technology.

    1 year ago

  • draw4404

    Ronnie Singletary from VisualHaven says:

    It is astounding how a genius can take the enery from one project, such as relativity and physics, in general, and transfer it to a very practical project.

    1 year ago

  • TheMillineryShop

    Marcia Lacher from TheMillineryShop says:

    We live in such a throw-away world where almost everything has its own built-in obsolescence. Many young kids are on their 5th or 6th cellphones and it isn't just the wealthy ones either. We must teach our kids to seek out quality, and to cherish and value their possessions. Even I have a whole slew of hairbrushes, most of which I don't use. My grandmother had just the one, and she used it for over 60 years.

    1 year ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown says:

    Einstein said, "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." To me, the refrigerator is such a great example of that thinking -- the smallest energy source, the greatest economy in design, the sleekest possible approach with no moving parts.

    1 year ago

  • PopLoveCouture

    Shai Wallach from PopLoveCouture says:

    I for one, am one of those people who hear Einstein's famous quote - "Everything should be made as simple as possible - but not simpler" - and completely does the opposite. It really does take a genius to take an already great invention and improve it, simplify it, make it more efficient.

    1 year ago

  • WingedWorld

    Vickie Moore from WingedWorld says:

    We think of electric cars as being new, but electric car technology is almost as old as automobiles themselves. Thanks for the reminder to appreciate advances from the past.

    1 year ago

  • andiespecialtysweets

    Jason and Andie from andiespecialtysweets says:

    What an inspiring article and statement, "one example of an idea whose time has finally come." And this is definitely a day of new challenges ...hence new possibilities! This was excellently written, Karen -thank you!

    1 year ago

  • andiespecialtysweets

    Jason and Andie from andiespecialtysweets says:

    We're so thankful for Karen : )

    1 year ago

  • VintageEyeFashion
  • kristinasmiley

    Kristina Smiley from CreativeEndeavorsKS says:

    My students would love this story! Thank you for sharing :)

    1 year ago

  • 2TrickPony

    Rachel from 2TrickPony says:

    great post! I live off grid on solar, and for us getting a fridge that wasn't powered by propane (yuck), but that could be powered by the array even in winter and at night, was a huge deal. Our fridge is called a Sunfrost, it is made in Arcata California. They are, as I understand it, the most efficient fridge in the world, costing about 3.00 a year to run. An even better, more efficient fridge would be amazing!

    1 year ago

  • AntoinettesWhims

    Antoinette from AntoinettesWhims says:

    Many old things were made to last unlike these days.

    1 year ago

  • EnterpriseAmericana

    Enterprise Americana from EnterpriseAmericana says:

    Time for me to get a new fridge. I loved every bit of this article.

    1 year ago

  • NannyMadeandfound

    Melinda from sixtybeansVntg says:

    Neat info. Always been an Einstein fan. Now I am even more!

    1 year ago

  • DeathByVintage

    Jypyse from DeathByVintage says:

    Very interesting, indeed!

    1 year ago

  • OpulentOddities

    jordan stultz from OpulentOddities says:

    i think things now a days are made with intent of breaking. so quick to throw out the old and consume consume consume. however, because of our consuming nature, things are not as meaningful (rather acquiring things becomes an obsession). we do not take care of what we have, making things that essentially disposable, excuse me, "obsolete," even more prone to damage. we think this is a flaw in design, but really, we allow and support this rapid, obsessive consumerism buy continuing to purchase faulty products. its a cycle, and its horrible. people post WWII (boom in mass production) or even pre industrial revolution, had less things. and also, these things last longer because they were meaningful. no one cares about that 3.99 hair bow you bought from urban outfitters. there are THOUSANDS like that being produced. you lose it, no big deal! go buy another. (it was bound to fall apart anyway, right?) i guess which is why handmade or artisan goods and salvaged vintage/antique goods are SO important. creating or saving something special. yes it is consuming, but you are not supporting the machine of consumption in this "buy or die" or "buy until you die" society. these goods, with care, can last your life time. there is meaning infused to them (ones you have assumed into the piece, intended meaning by the artist). you have a connection to the piece for one reason or the other, the item is special, and you will take good care of it. i have handmade items i've bought six years ago when i first joined etsy or from local markets. i still have them, even if they aren't on display. they are not in view, but i still keep them--and protect them, in water tight boxes. nothing you buy from the retail giants can compare. mass produced items are like grocery goods--toilet paper, food, or detergent, in our society-- good for their use, but essentially, get thrown away, eaten, or used up and are "obsolete." ending mass production is a ludicrous idea. obviously we need toilet paper, pens, soap, medications and things like that. if they were handmade, no one could afford basic self-maintenance among many other things. ending mass production is not the answer. supporting local artists, farmers, businesses, musicians, restauranteurs, crafters, bakers, soap makers (etc!) as well as supporting people through online venues IS the answer.

    1 year ago

  • OpulentOddities

    jordan stultz from OpulentOddities says:

    ugh, no line breaks when i posted, sorry!

    1 year ago

  • peshka

    Peshka from Peshka says:

    cool article!

    1 year ago

  • alangood

    alangood says:

    thanks again , Karen! Thought-provoking, well-written and clever...as always.

    1 year ago

  • DougWalpusArtStudio

    Doug Walpus from DougWalpusArtStudio says:

    This is a great article. Thank you for sharing and including my butterfly magnets!!

    1 year ago

  • pinksnakejewelry

    pinksnakejewelry from pinksnakejewelry says:

    Great Post!!!! Truly amazing design!!

    1 year ago

  • twolittleowls

    twolittleowls from twolittleowls says:

    Very interesting! Thank you for including my fridge dishes!!

    1 year ago

  • arturoduarte

    Arturo Duarte says:

    The good old days when great minds worked together and designed a long lasting future. These days most people's ego get in the way of getting simple tasks done.

    1 year ago

  • TeepetalsDesigns

    Tee from TeepetalsDesigns says:

    Wow I just learned a lot! Thanks for posting up this informative article! Genius!

    1 year ago

  • photographicloot

    Jennifer Johnson from BelleFoto says:

    Interesting post!

    1 year ago

  • astarteearthart

    astarteearthart from astarteearthart says:

    Thank you! My 3 year old box fan just quit and I was thinking why can't they make fans like they used to, those big metal ones that last like 30 years. And this article shows me there probably is a fan design that could last my lifetime, but it just never made it to the market.

    1 year ago

  • thevicagirl

    VaLon Frandsen from thevicagirl says:

    What a great story, and intereresting points. It was a great read.

    1 year ago

  • ActsofCraftiness

    Jen from ActsofCraftiness says:

    What an interesting story. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

    1 year ago

  • stephaniecallihan

    Stephanie Callihan says:

    Very interesting post, I hope his designs do come back!

    1 year ago

  • AccoutrementNouveau

    A Masiejczyk from WarsawAccent says:

    hermitically -> hermetically

    1 year ago

  • TheSpareBedroom

    TheSpareBedroom from TheSpareBedroom says:

    Very interesting read!

    1 year ago

  • recycledwares

    Nerrissa W from RecycledWares says:

    Since I sell and collect vintage, I've noticed that the older appliances last longer than today's models. The manufacturing process was different. Lots of plastics and breakable parts used today and metal, heavy parts used back in the day.

    1 year ago

  • artsymommas

    LeslieAndStacey from artsymommas says:

    Thanks for sharing! Go team Geek Squad.

    1 year ago

  • RubberBanditStamps

    Elli Jenks from RubberBanditStamps says:

    Thank you for the education and a really interesting read.

    1 year ago

  • artsymommas

    LeslieAndStacey from artsymommas says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Go team Geek Squad!

    1 year ago

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty says:

    Clever!!!

    1 year ago

  • TheLittleRange
  • noavider

    Noa Vider from noavider says:

    Great blog post

    1 year ago

  • imogenskyefreeman

    Imogen Skye Freeman from InkPaintings says:

    A few years ago, we lived in a cabin with no electricity, and our "fridge" was an insulated hole in the ground with a wooden casing that had an attic-door style opening. It worked perfectly, given that we have permafrost in Yukon. This autumn, we're moving to the East Coast, which is much warmer, with a frost line 4' below the surface, so we'll be "refrigerating" our food in a water-tight box anchored in our fast-running creek, during the warm months, and during winter, in an interior insulated box with a hole to the outside, allowing just enough cold air n to keep food cold, but not frozen. Later, we'll construct a good, old-fashioned root and libations cellar. Maybe not as convenient as a refrigerator, but we found enormous relief when living without the large appliance (mostly wasted space- so inefficient- and also noisy no matter how "whisper quiet"- we have sensitive hearing). I adore Einstein, and think he would have appreciated our unusual, but effective solutions to fresh-food-storage. :)

    1 year ago

  • cocodollz

    Coco Flower from cocodollz says:

    Very interesting ! thank you

    1 year ago

  • ShoeClipsOnly

    kathy johnson from ShoeClipsOnly says:

    How true! I was just thinking the other day about items that I purchase that are not made to last very long, no wonder a person can't get ahead in this world, many items we purchase are not made to last (i.e. my printer ink) I swear my ink lasts through about 20 lables and then presto, it's gone! I have to go buy more. In the "good old days" my printer ink would last 4 months! Where is the quality now days? Great article! Thank-you karen for that thought provoking blog!

    1 year ago

  • wheatleypaperworks

    M Wheatley from wheatleypaperworks says:

    Will we ever see such a wealth of ideas from a single person again? He was, (and still is) an unmatched mind. Thanks for the article.

    1 year ago

  • ThePattypanShop

    ThePattypanShop from ThePattypanShop says:

    Informative story - thanks for sharing!

    1 year ago

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 from Parachute425 says:

    Stuck with an avacado green refrigerator for 100 years? Hmmmmmm...

    1 year ago

  • ParisCabinet

    JD Kohler from ParisCabinet says:

    Make that refrigerator a thing of beauty and looking at it 100 years would be a breeze.

    1 year ago

  • PattiTrostle

    Patti Trostle from PattiTrostle says:

    I had no idea. Thanks for posting this. Very interesting!

    1 year ago

  • vegasblingrocks

    Judy Murphy from vegasblingrocks says:

    One of my friends recently told my granddaughter to help herself to the bottled water in the "icebox" ........ I'm still in stitches at the very puzzled look that came on her face. Thx for sharing this interesting Einstein article.

    1 year ago

  • pamelacontreras

    Pamela Contreras from pamelacontreras says:

    Thanks for sharing, very interesting!

    1 year ago

  • Zaheroux

    Megan Weber from Zaheroux says:

    What a cool read! Thank you for sharing it!

    1 year ago

  • mbueb

    Monica Bueb from MonicaBags says:

    It's frustrating to think how such genius ideas get shelved for having such a poor business model.... but it is fun to imagine how peaceful it would be in my apartment without my fridge kicking on-and-off. — Aaahhh!!

    1 year ago

  • jewelryrage

    Aaron Kish from JewelryRage says:

    Really cool article.

    1 year ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown says: Featured

    Where I live, people are also looking to other ways of preserving food, bringing back old recipes for canning, pickling, fermenting, and putting up all kinds of preserves. A farmer in the area has slowly developed his own hard shell squash. He calls it "Earthquake" because it can protect the squash for a year if we lose power for a long time due to an earthquake!

    1 year ago

  • AlisaDesign

    AlisaDesign from AlisaDesign says:

    Very interesting article!

    1 year ago

  • DewyMorningVintage

    DewyMorningVintage from DewyMorningVintage says:

    I wish things were built to last, sadly, I think they aren't. I think 5-10 years is the norm on most appliances. The parts that are in them a lot of times have to be replaced in that time as well. I'm happy to see technology improve in positive ways. It is great to see more and more energy efficient items reaching our market place. p.s I'm amazed by Einstein's patience!

    1 year ago

  • iammieCLAYshop

    iammieCLAYshop from iammieCLAYshop says:

    Interesting!

    1 year ago

  • jodiburton

    Jodi Lynn Burton from JodiLynnDoodles says:

    Surprised and delighted to see this article on here. Thank you.

    1 year ago

  • bojacobson

    Bo Jacobson says:

    I kinda love this - you never hear about Einstein as a consumer product guy in the same way as other noted genius' like Edison and DaVinci. Mostly the name comes up in the context of theoretical physics and The Bomb. Reading this I'm stuck by how human it is for him to have seen this problem that was hurting people, and how basic that problem was. Thanks for this.

    1 year ago

  • allstarorganics

    allstarorganics from allstarorganics says:

    Thank you Etsy for articles like this one! It makes us all aware of the wild and unpredictable creative impulse that can affect anyone at anytime. This article has brought to light an invention that could mean so much to the entire world. Such a clever device...lost in time. A brilliant invention for which there is enormous need, and yet it languishes in obscurity. But thanks to Etsy, and to it's diligent researcher and writer, it has been unearthed and brought back to the surface of human awareness. Sidelined not because the concept or execution were flawed, but, in fact, because they were not. And so we are all startled by a blinding flash of inspiration from the past. This good idea was buried exactly because it was such good idea. What a provocative article. Good work, Etsy

    1 year ago

  • grammagramma

    grammagramma from grammagramma says:

    How Inspiring!! Thankx!

    1 year ago

  • Talking1

    Richard - TalkToMeGuy says:

    Love to see The Einstein [as it would be known] come up on kickstarter !

    1 year ago

  • BrittneyWest

    Brittney West from BrittneyWest says:

    What a great read! Thanks :-) "Let the beauty of what you love be what you do." --Rumi

    1 year ago

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 from breadandroses2 says:

    Who knew? Einstein was true humanitarian in more ways than ever imagined. If you've ever punctured a 1940s, non-defrost freezer coil while chipping at the glacier inside, you know freon is unbelievably toxic. Appreciating modern, auto-defrost fridges that much more now.

    1 year ago

  • TickleandSmash

    Lisa Spinella from TickleAndSmash says:

    Love his entrepreneur spirit! Great Post Lisa Geek Squad

    1 year ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery says:

    Amazing to think that this never took off, a fridge that lasts 100 years would be quite an investment!

    1 year ago

  • windycitynovelties

    Windy City Novelties says:

    That is such a great story! I love reading about ways to make products not only safer for people but for the environment. I am glad to see that years of hard work might pay off.

    1 year ago

  • QuirkMuseum

    Michael Quirk from QuirkMuseum says:

    Great Story. That guy was pretty smart for a genius.

    1 year ago

  • KaiceJoy

    Kirsti Joy from KaiceJoy says:

    WOW! I learn something incredible every day!

    1 year ago

  • lalitkhatri

    Lalit Khatri says:

    WOW an incredible article i have got it.

    1 year ago

  • tadalyn2006

    Kelie from tadalyndesign says:

    Very well written, and great information. Loved reading it!

    1 year ago

  • leeannasjewerybox

    Leeanna from LeeannasJewelryBox says:

    In the throw away society it is nice to see an article written about something built to last. Looking to heros, and using them as an example is a very affective way to get a point across. I liked this blog due to the fact it was well written and I sympathize with the cause.

    1 year ago

  • shalomdan
  • Kidsturk

    Kidsturk says:

    This article is confusing to me. I am an engineer. Absorption refrigeration has been and is widely used throughout the world. It is not (and, thermodynamically, can never be) as efficient as the vapor-compression cycle used in modern refrigerators. I have removed many building-scale systems that were costing their owners a hundred thousand dollars a year in fuel over a modern system. While a small absorption system *must* be sealed for it to work and hence would be a great solution to Einstein's seal problem, we no longer use refrigerants that are toxic to the point of being a risk. The longevity/integrity of the system would be a big improvement over modern consumer electronics, but having a high-grade heat source (even if small, a pilot light is a) gas/oil and b) hotter than you want to try and achieve with electricity if you care about your bills) is a problem. Einstein was a brilliant and deeply empathetic man, but without understanding what these recent developments are, I struggle to accept the points in the article when so much appears to be glossed over in the interests of a 'guess what' theme.

    1 year ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown says:

    Hi Kidsturk, Of course, it's not possible to go into great depth in a short Etsy post. If you would like to know more about this project, I suggest you get in touch Dr. Malcolm McCulloch at Oxford – he's mentioned in the post – to find out more.

    1 year ago