The History of Cold Storage

The concept of cold storage is not a new one. Since ancient times, people have been chilling food in order to preserve it, using natural means like frigid streams or underground pits. However, modern cold storage technology has only been on the rise for the last couple centuries. 

vintage warehouse photo

It all started around 1800, when an enterprising man named Frederic Tudor started up an ice business in New England, shipping blocks of Massachusetts pond ice to southern states and the Caribbean. He used ice houses he’d built along his distribution routes and insulated train cars to keep the ice frozen until it reached its destination, making cold storage a possibility in hot climates for the first time in history. 

In 1825, Tudor partnered with one Nathaniel Wyeth, inventor of the horse drawn ice cutter, to greatly expand his production capabilities. Soon, they had introduced ice to the mass market and turned a once rare luxury into an affordable commodity. As the ice industry grew, consumers came to rely on cold storage as a method of food preservation. This reliance created the foundation on which the modern cold storage industry would soon be built. 

In 1913, Fred W. Wolf invented the first commercially viable electric refrigerator. Soon, the Frigidaire Company was mass producing them and selling them to households all over the United States. It wasn’t long before food companies seized the opportunity to start producing temperature sensitive goods for consumers who now had the means to keep them fresh. 

At the same time, commercial cold storage companies began stepping in to help get refrigerated products from factories to families. One of these companies was MFWC. Founded in 1915, MFWC has been a leader in the modern cold storage industry since the very beginning. We’ve spent the last century growing and evolving—finding new ways to provide our customers with the best services they could ask for. 

vintage warehouse photo

If you need a trustworthy cold storage company in Minnesota, look no further than MFWC. To learn about our many fantastic cold storage services, contact us today at 507-373-1477 or send an email to


Albert Lea
820 E. 13th Street
PO Box 86
Albert Lea, MN 56007-0086

PHONE: 507-373-1477
TOLL FREE: 844-373-1477
FAX: 507-373-2174

1907 14th Street N.E.
P.O. Box 475
Austin, Minnesota 55912-0475

PHONE: 507-437-1982
FAX: 507-437-1892