The meat-packing industry was another which benefited immensely from these cars. Reefers are essential for the distribution of meat over a long distance, without spoiling the meat.
These cars also helped to establish mid-western cities, such as Chicago and Kansas, as the slaughter centers of the country. They also created regional produce specialization. This increasingly widespread distribution of fresh foods expanded markets and created healthier and more balanced diets.
Refrigerated rail cars enabled breweries to make a uniform product throughout the year. Breweries are now able to produce beer on a large scale system, and then have it shipped around the world, only because of the invention of reefers.
However, despite all these benefits, refrigerated rail cars did have their problems. Refrigerants like sulphur dioxide and methyl chloride were causing people to die. And ammonia had the same effect if it leaked. Luckily, a new class of synthetic refrigerants was discovered in 1928, so these chemicals are no longer present in any refrigerators.
Basically, refrigerated rail cars revolutionized America. Perishable goods could be sent over 3,000 miles in just a few days, and unspoiled! Without...