Friday, February 6, 2009

February 6, 1909 - Ice Harvest

100 Years Ago Today: From The Rensselaer Eagle [NY 41 Rensselaer 93-32173].

Berry & Waugh Are Harvesting a Third Crop

Icemen are taking advantage of the opportunity to harvest ice now. About 50 ice handlers from Upper Rensselaer are employed at the Montgomery houses, just below this city. The ice is of good quality and between 10 and 14 inches in thickness.

The men expect to remain at these houses for about another week if the weather is favorable. Waugh and Berry have marked their ice in the lake for the third cutting of the year and their houses on North Forbes avenue are expected to be filled with this harvest.

As yet Benacker Bros. have not started on their field in the river which has been staked out. They are harvesting 14 inch ice from an artificial pond near old Riverside Park.
You can read a great description of ice harvesting on the Hudson by John Burroughs.
One of the prettiest sights about the ice-harvesting is the elevator in operation. When all works well, there is an unbroken procession of the great crystal blocks slowly ascending this incline. They go up in couples, arm in arm, as it were, like friends up a stairway, glowing and changing in the sun, and recalling the precious stones that adorned the walls of the celestial city.
Just for fun, here's a Wikipedia article about the icebox.
If you want one in your kitchen, Roseland Icebox Company specializes in reproduction quality 1900's iceboxes with completely modern refrigeration components built in (these are gorgeous - check it out here).

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