The following text is a copy of the Smithsonian Museum label for the model of Harrison's Ether Vapour Compression Refrigeration Machine:
James Harrison (1816-93) of Geelong, Australia, obtained patents in 1855 for a compression ice machine of the Perkins type, using sulphuric ether (diethyl-ether) as the refrigerant.
In 1857 he had two large machines built in England, one for a paraffin works, the other for a brewery - the first large and successful refrigeration machines ever sold. By 1859, an improved machine was in regular production in London and Sydney. A number were placed in ships for the exportation of fresh meat.
The tub (right) contains the condensing coils. In the evaporator (left) the vaporised ether passed through a series of tubes surrounded by brine, chilled to about 23F. The brine was circulated by a small pump around the freezing boxes in the tank.