Dry Ice’s not so Dry History
Since it was discovered in the 1830s, dry ice has had a rich scientific and commercial history. How did dry ice turn from a laboratory anomaly into such a versatile and vital tool?
Discovery and Early Use
In 1835, a French chemist named Charles Thilorier recorded the first observation of dry ice when he found it at the bottom of a tank containing liquid CO2. Although it continued to be observed in labs, no practical use for dry ice was developed until 1897 when an English patent was granted to Herbert Elworthy for the purpose of cooling and carbonating beverages. This idea did not lead to great commercial success although some doctors at the time used the dry ice he produced to remove warts. Liquid nitrogen has since mostly eclipsed dry ice for medical use because of its lower temperature and greater versatility.
Modern Innovation and Use
In 1925, a company called Prest Air Devices developed the first CO2 based fire extinguisher and researched and marketed other uses for dry ice such as a water carbonator and industrial coolant. Although dry ice began to take hold as a rail cart cooling agent, with the development of efficient electrical refrigeration, the fire extinguisher became the only commercial use for compressed carbon dioxide in the early 1900s. However, by the 1930s, dry ice began to see use as a way to cool small amounts of ice cream and other products during transportation when refrigeration was unfeasible. Today, dry ice is used by many food and shipment companies to keep their products fresh and dry. When allowed to sublimate, dry ice creates a smoke effect which continues to be used as a special effect everywhere from concerts to costume parties. It is also used in many scientific experiments where very low temperatures are required.
Dry Ice Corp: A Dry Ice Supplier in Maryland
Dry Ice Corp is the largest regional supplier of dry ice products and customized delivery services in the Northeastern United States, from Virginia all the way up to Maine. And because our dry ice is supplied by manufacturing plants located right here in the Northeast, we can guarantee freshness. Other suppliers, meanwhile, get their dry ice from manufacturing plants as much as 1,000 miles away, which has a direct impact on product freshness. Ready to get your dry ice? Click here!
Dry Ice Corp provides the highest levels of service and freshest dry ice products.
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If you have any questions about using Dry Ice to ship seafood, please contact Dry Ice Corp by calling 201.767.3200. You can also connect with Dry Ice Corp on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.