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Perkins' ice machine, 1834. The first vapour compression machine for... News Photo1830-1839,Archival,Finance,Horizontal,Ice,Machinery,Stock Market and Exchange,UKPhotographer Collection: SSPL SSPL/Science MuseumUNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 09: Perkins' ice machine, 1834. The first vapour compression machine for refrigeration. Jacob Perkins (1766-1849) was an American mechanical engineer and inventor. In 1831 he invented an early form of water boiler which paved the way for refrigeration, and compression machines. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)