Archie Alphonso Alexander (1888-1958) was an African-American engineer and inventor known for his significant contributions to the field of refrigeration and air conditioning. Born on April 1, 1888, in Ottumwa, Iowa, Alexander attended Iowa State College (now Iowa State University), where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1912. He continued his education and obtained a master’s degree from the same institution in 1913.
One of Alexander’s notable inventions was the first practical household refrigerator. In collaboration with Frederick Jones, a fellow African-American inventor, he developed a refrigeration system for trucks and railroad cars. Their invention greatly facilitated the transportation and preservation of perishable goods, revolutionizing the food industry. Alexander held numerous patents related to refrigeration and air conditioning systems throughout his career. His work significantly advanced the technology and efficiency of cooling systems, making them more accessible and reliable.
In addition to his engineering achievements, Archie Alphonso Alexander actively supported education and opportunities for African Americans. He served as the president of the Iowa-Nebraska National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and was involved in various community and civil rights organizations. Archie Alphonso Alexander’s contributions to the field of refrigeration and his dedication to promoting equality and education have left a lasting impact, and he is remembered as an influential African-American inventor and engineer.