Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Frederick M Jones, most of us are able to beat the extreme heat that summer brings. You see Mr. Jones designed a portable air-cooling unit around 1935 for trucks carrying perishable foods. He received the patent for it on July 10,1940.

Frederick M. Jones was born in Cincinnati,Ohio on May 17,1893. He was orphaned by the time he was nine and was raised by a priest in Kentucky. He left school at the end of sixth grade and made his way back to Cincinnati, where he got his first job as a cleaning boy. By the time he was fourteen he was working as an automobile mechanic.

After his service with the Army in World War I , he returned to Hallock,Minnesota where he previously worked as a mechanic on a 50,000 acre farm. During his employment, he taught himself electronics and built a transmitter for the town’s new radio station. He also invented a device to combine sound with motion pictures. In 1930 Frederick was hired by Joseph A. Numero of Minneapolis,Minnesota to improve the sound equipment made by his firm, Cinema Supplies Inc.

Numero later sold his movie sound equipment to RCA and formed a new company in partnership with Jones then called U.S. Thermo Control Company. Today we know this company as Thermo King Corporation. The portable cooling units designed by Mr. Jones were especially important during WWII, preserving blood,medicine and food for use in army hospitals and on the battlefield.

During his life Mr. Jones was awarded 61 patents. Forty of which were for refrigeration, while others went for portable x-ray machines, sound equipment,and gasoline engines. In 1944 Frederick M. Jones became the first black to be elected into the American Society of Refrigeration Engineers.

Now we know who to thank when the thermometer is breaking the eighty degree mark and we turn the knob on our air conditioners!