PROFESSOR THADDEUS LOWE

INVENTIONS AND INDUSTRY

Texas Refrigerated Beef Shipment

After the Civil War the expanding Texas beef industry encouraged and financed the development of the mechanical cold process. Andrew Muhl of San Antonio, in partnership with a man named Paggi, built an ice-making machine there in 1867 before moving it to Waco in 1871. Development of mechanical refrigeration for the Texas meat industry began in the late 1860s in Dallas with Thaddeus S. C. Lowe's carbon dioxide machines, which had been used to inflate the balloons he had constructed for military purposes. Using dry ice made with carbon dioxide compressors, Lowe designed a refrigerated ship, the William Tabor, in 1868, in competition with Henry Peyton Howard of San Antonio, to carry chilled and frozen beef to New Orleans. Howard's steamship Agnes was fitted with a cold-storage room, twenty-five by fifty feet in size. Because the William Tabor drew too much water to dock in New Orleans harbor, Howard's ship was the first to ship beef successfully by refrigerated boat. Upon the shipment's arrival, Howard threw a banquet at the St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans in July 1869 and presented his transported beef to prominent diners. Because Lowe failed to accomplish his feat, he did not receive the proper credit for his attempt; however, the singular accomplishment of a refrigerator ship established the compressor process of refrigeration for ships delivering meat to New York and Europe. Carbon dioxide is nontoxic and nonflammable, and its use as a refrigerant was employed in marine service well into the twentieth century.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Oscar E. Anderson, Jr., Refrigeration in America (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1953). Austin Tri Weekly State Gazette, March 23, 1870. Luis Bartlett and W. R. Woolrich, Refrigeration for Operating Engineers in Ice and Cold Storage Plants (Austin: University of Texas Bureau of Engineering Research, 1941). Charles T. Clark, "The Development of Refrigeration in Texas," Texas Business Review 40 (November 1966). Mary Whatley Clarke, "First Refrigeration of Beef," Cattleman, March 1947. "Complying with the Refrigerant Recycling Rule," in Stratospheric Ozone Protection: Final Rule Summary (Washington: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1993). New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 13, 1869. W. R. Woolrich, The Men Who Created Cold: A History of Refrigeration (New York: Exposition Press, 1967).

Willis R. Woolrich and Charles T. Clark


INDEX PAGE

BEFORE THE WAR

CIVIL WAR YEARS

INVENTIONS AND INDUSTRY

NORRISTOWN PENNSYLVANIA YEARS

PASADENA CALIFORNIA YEARS

MOUNT LOWE RAILWAY

AFTER THE RAILWAY

LOWE FAMILY

BOOKS ABOUT LOWE

NEWSPAPER ARTICLES

EVENTS AND REUNIONS

ARTIFACTS AND HISTORY

ENCYCLOPEDIA BIOGRAPHY

ACCLAMATIONS AND AWARDS

LINKS TO OTHER THADDEUS LOWE WEBSITES