• A. P. Rinfret
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Cryogenic Engineering book series (ACRE, volume 8)


Just 300 years ago, Power[1] carried out experiments in which he froze a jar containing vinegar eels by immersion in a mixture of ice and salt. After thawing the vinegar two to three hours later, he found that the eels were as active as ever. From this and other experiments, which included overnight freezing,. Power concluded that cold, unlike heat, did not possess a killing property. Some 20 years later in 1683, Boyle[2] published the results of his work on the freezing of frogs and fishes. While many of his experimental subjects survived encasement in ice, fish subjected to this treatment for three days were killed. He thus drew the conclusion that cold was no less effective than heat in its capacity to destroy living things. Réaumur[3] in 1736 and Duhamel and Buffon[4] in 1737 published their observations on the freezing of insects and plant tissues, respectively. The great Italian scientist Spallanzani[5] described the effects of freezing on many varieties of life, including protozoa, fish, amphibia, reptiles, birds, and mammals, in 1787.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1963

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. P. Rinfret
    • 1
  1. 1.Linde Company DivisionUnion Carbide CorporationTonawandaUSA

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