Frederick M. Jones

From Ohio History Central

On May 17, 1893, Frederick McKinley Jones was an African American inventor with a large number of U.S. patents. He was born on May 17, 1893 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Some sources say that he was born in Covington, Kentucky, directly across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. Jones was orphaned as a young age and did not attend high school. He served in the military during World War I. After the war, he took a position as a mechanic.

Over the remainder of his life, Jones invented a number of different products. His best-known invention in 1935 consisted of refrigeration equipment for trucks. This innovation dramatically altered the shipping and food industries, as spoilage became less likely. Railroads and ships eventually utilized Jones's product as well. Jones received more than forty patents alone for products that improved refrigeration. He helped found the Thermo King Corp., a leader in the production of cooling devices. Among other inventions, Jones also created a movie projector that could play movies with sound. Jones died on February 21, 1961.

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