Cold Storage of Winter Clothes

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, October 2, 1911: It is beginning to get cold. Am thinking about my hat and coat, which are in the store as yet, but it doesn’t do very much good anyway.

Photo source: Practical Cold Storage (1905)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

A hundred years ago people sometimes took their winter coats, and other wool and fur garments, to a cold storage facility. This was done to help ensure that the clothes won’t be damaged by moths during the warm weather months.

I don’t understand exactly how cold storage rooms were kept cold, but the rooms probably were cooled by pipes filled with brine or ammonia. Compression machines may have been used.  There were a number of different methods described in a 1905 book, but a common method is described below:

In this system, the ammonia gas is driven off from aqua ammonia under pressure, by heating; the gas is liquefied by cooling, and the refrigerating effect obtained by expanding the liquid ammonia thus obtained though pipes surrounded by the medium to be cooled.

Practical Cold Storage by Madison Cooper

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