Food Storage and the 'Coolgardie Safe'

Coolgardie Safe
Coolgardie Safe

With no refrigeration, the Maynards kept perishable food in the "Coolgardie Safe". This was a simple cupboard made of wire mesh and pressed metal. A wet hessian bag hung over the side would keep the cupboard and its food cool.

Kitchen safes, small cupboards with wire mesh sides and doors, date from the nineteenth century. They continued to be part of the basic kitchen furniture through the 1920s before the development of built-in cupboards and refrigerators.

The Coolgardie Safe was designed to store meat and other foods, which required from protection from the heat of the Australian summer.

Storing perishable food was a constant problem in the days before refrigeration. The first home refrigerators arrived in 1927. Until this time food was either kept cool with ice and Coolgardie Safes, or preserved, salted or cured.

Other internet resources:

Refrigerator web site
How Refrigerators Work