For many reasons which lack ingenuity, many have abandoned their dreams to chase someone’s dreams. Success as simple as it is called wields great sacrifice in it. The story of Frederick Jones is one which is not only an inspirational story but one which kindles other blacks who are either restricted or see their color as a barrier, to get going. It’s with much pride that we say the European continent would have become a desolate zone had it been the blacks were independent on their accord.
Today, Frederick Jones’s contribution to the field of science and technology is nothing but a blessing to humanity. It would not be out of place to refer to him as the “Black Inventor of all time.”
Just like other black inventors in his era, the statue represents a testimony to the intelligence and contributions of the Black men to the advancement of civilization.
Despite having a poor childhood, Jones was able to scale through all odd. Born on May 17th, 1893, in Covington, Kentucky, near Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. He lost his parents to the hands of death at age 9.
After his parent’s untimely demise, he lived with a priest where he was supposed to complete his education but couldn’t, in the state of Kentucky. Jones couldn’t adapt to the strict educational system he was receiving.
When he clocked 16, Jones dropped out and returned to his hometown, Cincinnati. On his arrival, he ventured into mechanical engineering, as an apprentice first, and continued to learn in the field through self-teaching and application.
Thereafter, he became a soldier and fighting during World War I for America. During the war, he singled himself out for his skills and ability to fix military gears and apparatus, and that made him well known among the Black and white units of the army.
After the war was over, he returned home and he turned his garage mechanic into a lively hood. With the experiences he had acquired all through the years , he invented a gasoline motor that could start on its own.
Jones, who was employed into a steamship outside of the USA had exceptional abilities in electronic appliances and devices, which were all self taught.
After working for a while in the steamship and a hotel, he resigned to Hallock, Minnesota, where he began designing and building racecars, which he used in competing in local race tracks and events.
History reports that his car was perfectly designed that it defeated other automobiles in the races and also beat an airplane to a race.
During his sojourn in Minnesota, he invented a radio transmitter for the Minnesota city radio station. And also on payroll by James J. Hills as a mechanic on railroads.
Frederick Jones built an series of devices for the movie industry, which began developing around the late 1920s. He invented a machine which adapted silent movie projectors to use talking movie stock and also a device for the movie-box-office which gives movie tickets and then returns change to the customers. He also created a snowmobile.
His biggest and notable achievement was the creation of the first automatic refrigeration system for trucks that travelled for several hours and railroad cars in 1935. The refrigerators were roof mounted cooling machines, with the removal of food spoilage when shipped and hauled across long distances. This invention was later adapted to other carrier systems around the world, such as ships and railway cars.
His idea on the creation of mobile refrigeration units led to the birth of the Thermo-King Corporation (Minneapolis) in the same year 1935. The activities of this corporation and invention changed the face of transport and the fate of transportation of perishable goods, with trucks, railcars, and ships.
Jones’s creation of the refrigeration unit changed the way Americans ate food. They could now eat fresh food all year round, and in distant locations. This contributed to the economy of the country as well as enhancing several businesses and industries around America and the world.
After this, he thought of how to give back to the military which he served in, the Americans and world, he went ahead to develop an air-conditioning unit which was used for military field hospitals, and also the refrigerator for military field kitchens.
Till now, Frederick Jones is till celebrated for being the most prolific Black inventors ever born. He had over 60 patents and inventions to his shelf, asides the mobile refrigeration system.
Frederick Jones left this world as a genius, inventor and inspiration on the 21st of February, 1961.
Despite living in an hostile environment, without formal education and born in an era when slavery was just getting to its decline stage, he achieved all this and stood out among his peers, white and black.