Ice Harvesting in Darnestown, ca.1910
Got ice? Usually, we don’t think about ice very often, unless there’s none in the freezer. At the start of the 19th century, keeping food fresh and edible was one of the biggest challenges of everyday life. So what was life like before we had that incredible device that we now take for granted, the refrigerator?
Before the first successful ice-making machines were built, ice for refrigeration was obtained through a process called “ice harvesting.” Men would venture out onto frozen ponds with saws, tongs, and pitchforks and methodically cut and dragged blocks of ice.
Refrigeration is a modern convenience that we just can’t live without and certainly one that I take for granted … or took for granted until I wrote this!