Abe Lincoln

“You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich...strengthen the weak by weakening the strong...bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift...lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves." -Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What is it Wednesday

       Welcome to another What is it Wednesday.
With all the hot weather we have been having lately, please give some thought to how it was 100 years ago.  Ice was cut in the months of January and February, from frozen lakes and rivers.  It was take by horse and wagon or sled to the local ice house.  It was then put into a pit, packed with straw or saw dust.  It was stored and shipped to homes or the southern states.  The ice had to be between 10 and 12 inches thick
to cut. To much freezing rain made for cloudy ice, so clear ice was the best to have.  Harvesting ice only lasted a few weeks, and had to last the whole year.  The ice tongs where used to handle the big ice blocks.
Besides being  shipped to the southern states, it was delivered to homes and place in the old ice box. 
Wooden boxes (later lined with metal) ice placed inside would keep food from spoiling.  Only enough food was cooked for each meal, so storage of left overs was not a problem.  The ice tong was manufactured from the middle of the 1800 to around 1930.  As electric refrigerators came into fashion the harvesting of ice, ice house, the use of ice tongs or ice picks where no longer needed.

Today we stay in our air conditioned homes, cars, and we do not go out much in the heat.  We need a cold drink, we go to the refrigerator, get our cold drink, place in a frosty mug, add some ice from the freezer!  So much easier then cutting ice blocks, and storing them all year long.   

You can use old ice tongs as a paper towel holder, toilet paper holder, towels.  Hang from a peg and remember how lucky we are to have air conditioning!  On this one I'm glad I'm living today!   


Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

"I'm from the generation that's Dad(bless his heart)STILL call the fridge "The Ice Box"...LOVE him to PIECES... I don't think any of us would have a question about what these are, hehe... AND talk about something that has LOTS of uses... LOVE your story!!! and on a hot summer day it sure is welcome...
Donna@ Conghaile Cottage

nancy huggins said...

I do remember them and we also rented an older gouse once where the ice could be put in from outside into the ice box..I hear a lot of people us the saying Ice Box. I wish my GM was still alive and could ask questions...never thought to do that years ago

Carol/Firecrackerkid said...

Well, Rose I appreciate this post. We're too pampered today than we should be.

Barb said...

Hi Rose,
Thank you for your kind comments on my blog! Yes, we have it good. I really am happy that it was not me crossing the plains to settle the west. I give thanks every summer to my ancestors for doing that. Now I sit in my kitchen and enjoy the cool and look at the huge mountains outside my window. Great view!
Enjoy the cool!

The Moonlit Stitch said...

Great post Rose! My mom was just telling me just yesterday about when the ice man would come around. The old ice house is still standing in town. History humbles us! Thanks for sharing ~*~ Lisa

dee begg said...


Part of my former house was an old icehouse, that's how I chose my name for selling online. The icehouse part had 24" thick stone walls which was turned into a kitchen in my house. The steps spiralled down along the outer walls to a sub cellar and then further down to what we called "the pit". We never ventured into the pit as there were too many creepy crawlers in there for my liking! The really neat thing was that side of the house stayed a comfortable 60 degrees year round, so no need for ac and only a little for heat in the winter.