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Frederick Jones was a prolific, self-taught inventor responsible for revolutionizing the refrigeration business by inventing a transport unit for trucks.The invention changed the way grocers shipped goods, and was instrumental during World War II.

Born May 17, 1893 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Jones dropped out of school at age nine after his mother died. A priest raised him from that age until he was 16 in Kentucky. A

n avid reader, Jones worked as a mechanic’s apprentice, learning the inner and outer workings of motor vehicles. By the time he was 19, Jones built and drove cars as a racer in the Great Lakes region.

While serving in the Army in World War I, he worked as an electrician, and wired his camp with power, telegraph and telephone service. After his discharge, he moved to Minnesota where he built a snowmobile out of an old airplane body fashioned with skis and a motor. He used this so-called “snow machine” to aid doctors in the snowy region of Hallock on their house calls.

Over the next few years, Jones continued to create amazing inventions, including a portable X-ray machine, a radio transmitter and personal radio devices. Because he wasn’t business savvy, a lot of Jones’ earlier inventions were not patented, which cost him a fortune