In Western civilization, the first wooden ice box was actually patented as a "refrigerator." However, it didn't use any of the refrigeration technology that we see today. It was -- by all accounts -- an ice box. The patent for this original refrigerator was granted in 1802 to a farmer named Thomas Moore, a farmer, inventor, surveyor, engineer and entrepreneur from Brookeville, Maryland.

Moore's Refrigerator

Thomas Moore designed the ice box out of necessity: he needed to find a way to transport butter from his farm in Maryland to Washington D.C. The concept was simple. He placed a tin chamber inside of a cedar box, and then lined the exterior of the box with rabbit fur to insulate it. When he needed to transport butter, he would fill the space between the wood and the inner tin chamber with ice, fill the chamber with butter and seal the box shut. In 1802, President Jefferson visited Moore's farm and inspected the ice box, and was so impressed with it that he took notes and made drawings of it.