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The King of Cool

Frederick McKinley Jones
The NRCME Training Institute would like to join the FMCSA in celebrating Black History Month 2021 by remembering inventor and entrepreneur Frederick McKinley Jones, who invented an on-board, air cooling unit for trucks which permitted the safe transport of food, medicine, and other perishable goods.

Jones was born to a black mother and white father on May 17, 1893, however his mother deserted him as a child, leaving his father to raise him alone. Working as a cleaning boy at the age of 11 and then as a working mechanic at the age of 14, Jones taught himself electronics and invented several notable items in his lifetime, including a device to combine sound with motion pictures. After his service in the US Army during World War I, Jones continued working with electronics and eventually designed a portable air-cooling unit for trucks to carry perishable food and medicine to and on the open battlefield and patented his invention in 1940.

His valuable contribution to the trucking industry has helped save the lives of countless service men and women and has made all our lives safer and easier thanks to his refrigerated trailer cooling unit invention.


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