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Author Topic: How was ice made before freezers existed?  (Read 11505 times)

neilep

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How was ice made before freezers existed?
« on: 15/02/2008 13:43:16 »
Dear All,


D'ya like my floating frozen ice pack ?




Nice eh ?...it's being delivered next Tuesday.

I was wondering though, before freezers were invented with the aid of electricity, how did they freeze water ?

The question does not apply to the colder climes !!


Fr-eeze a jolly good fellow !!*groan...reaching sub-human scale of levity now !!*


« Last Edit: 04/03/2008 23:33:44 by chris »

Ignorant Enthusiast

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Re: How was ice made before freezers existed?
« Reply #1 on: 15/02/2008 13:51:32 »
How long before they invented freezers are we talking about? I know that in 'ye olden times' they used to store natural winter ice in ice houses (insulated holes in the ground, cold ones) for later use, so in effect they didn't make it they simply stored it.

http://www.kew.org/places/kew/icehouse.html
« Last Edit: 15/02/2008 13:55:57 by Ignorant Enthusiast »

another_someone

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Re: How was ice made before freezers existed?
« Reply #2 on: 15/02/2008 13:55:48 »
There were some ventures to bring icebergs down from the Arctic, but before that, one simply did not freeze.

In theory you could design a hand operated freezer (which I am sure must have been used in some early laboratory experiments), and ofcourse there were gas powered refrigerators before electrically powered refrigerators.

lyner

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Re: How was ice made before freezers existed?
« Reply #3 on: 15/02/2008 17:16:52 »
Quote
gas powered refrigerators before electrically powered refrigerators.
Afaik, the 'absorption' type of refrigerator unit was a development 15 yrs later than the compressor type. It is a much more sophisticated cycle and there are not many mixtures which can be used for this type of system.
It costs more to run but has the advantage of flexible power sources. I had a camper van with one. It worked off gas, 12V or 230V and didn't keep you awake at night.

I heard that, in ancient times, in North Africa (the desert) they had large, very shallow ponds of water which would freeze at night, even after the hottest days, because of the clear night skies. The thin ice was scraped off and taken into underground stores and the Sultan and his mates could have iced drinks, sitting in the blazing nooday sun, the next day.
« Last Edit: 15/02/2008 17:20:50 by sophiecentaur »

JimBob

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Re: How was ice made before freezers existed?
« Reply #4 on: 15/02/2008 19:04:05 »
In the early 20th century before refrigerators ice was made at home it was made at ice companies and distributed to home for ice boxes. It was also used for transporting meat in rail cars.

Old ice boxes were made of wood with insulation - I was 5 when I saw my last one so I can't describe how it worked. I did, however, have the chore of taking the drip pan out and emptying it outside as the ice melted.

This is stolen from Wikipedia



Ours was brown and looked something like the one in th middle.

My father got our ice free as he was the accountant for Brockton Ice and Coal Company. This was in New England after dad got out of the army after WW II. In winter, they supplied coal for the furnace, in summer ice for the ice box. I can remember large evaporative towers on top of the building where the ice was made that chilled a brine which was used to make the ice. There were large metal forms filled with fresh water and frozen into blocks. These were stored in an insulated room until the delivery man came around with the ice and delivered it with ice tongs. The iceman always seemed a giant, those blocks were heavy!



The ice would go into the upper part of the box and the food in the lower part. Leftovers were not well preserved unless the ice was new. a small piece of ice in the top didn't work as well as a large piece.

The old geezer speaks - (Also spoke Zarathustra?)
 

lex anderson

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Re: How was ice made before freezers existed?
« Reply #5 on: 23/02/2008 17:14:38 »
In the USA, they used to cut ice from rivers and ponds during the winter, and pack it with sawdust or other insulated material in an ice house for use during summer.

Also, they used the refrigerate by using was called a spring house. If they had a stream running nearby, they would have it run into this "old time fridge", and the water would keep their food from spoiling, like milk.

 

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