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Thread: Before Refrigeration how was ice sawn/stored/mined ?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MP242 View Post
    I think they are physically lying to ya !

    Ice in summer, melts in winter, ya
    Are you trolling again? Even when presented with some evidence you are skeptical.
    Ice can exist above freezing temperature. Antarctica had a balmy 18 degrees celsius the other day and there's still some ice left there.
    As my Dad would have told me "Get it through your bloody thick skull"
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    Of course he is trolling....that's how he gets his jollies off

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazytrain View Post
    Cloudersport Ice Mine, Pennsylvania is one such mine. Google it.
    Fascinating. The Wikipedia explanation of how the mine forms ice in Summer was very interesting.
    Narcolepsy is not napping.



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    The reason why I started this topic was because I wondered how they had icing platforms, filling passenger cars, and refer cars with ice.

    I don't think that asking a question of how an boatload of block ice was shipped for a month long journey, on seas that are 48 degrees, is trolling. And in days before the automobile and truck, shipping ice by horse drawn wagon must have meant a lot of ice melted.

    I just can not get over how quickly block ice melts at temperatures above 32 degrees F, even in insulated containers.

    Evidently they did have rare refrigeration in 1805, using ammonia and other often toxic refrigerant liquids.

    But actual manufacturing of block ice must have been terribly difficult, even powered by stationary steam powered belt driven machinery, being that it melts so quickly.

    Today, in Germany still a lot of public places still have no Air Conditioning.

    And in days before electricity, gasoline/diesel engines, and before machinery, making ice, and storing block ice must have been next to impossible, with a lot of melted ice.

    Before 1900 taking a bath, or shower was rare, and people sure must have wreaked.

    A lot of salted meats were hung under porch's, and foodborne illness's were an everyday occurrence, and many people died from spoiled foods.

    I will have to research more on what years, electricity, and machinery, was common, and how they kept block ice from melting.

    In 1882 Edison helped form the Edison Electric Illuminating Company of New York, which brought electric light to parts of Manhattan. But progress was slow. Most Americans still lit their homes with gas light and candles for another fifty years (1932). Only in 1925 did half of all homes in the U.S. have electric power.

    Modern refrigerators were invented in the 1880, but did not become common in homes until the 1920s.

    Floridian John Gorrie, M.D., (1803-1855) was granted the first U. S. Patent (No. 8080) for mechanical refrigeration in 1851 for his invention of the first ice machine in 1845. Gorrie is considered the father of air conditioning and mechanical refrigeration, yet he was ridiculed during his lifetime.

    Dr. Gorrie’s solution was to suspend ice buckets from the ceiling in the bedrooms and allow the cool air to fill the room, as much as it could. However the Ice would be imported from Boston and would become increasingly more costly as the summer month approached.

    Dr. Gorrie’s solved the problem in 1845 when he applied a known principle where compressed air under pressure would be partly cooled with water before allowing it to naturally expand while creating feedback needed to drive the air compressor. Isentropic expansion cooled the air to a temperature low enough to freeze water and produce ice, or to flow through a pipe for refrigeration. The basic concepts were understood before this time, but none was able to put the pieces together.

    Dr. Gorrie submitted this invention as a patent petition on February 27, 1848, which was granted on May 6, 1851 as U.S. Patent No. 8080, "Improved process for the artificial production of ice". The first working prototype was made in April, 1848 built by the Cincinnati Iron Works and it produced a great deal of ice as expected. The design just needed to be adjusted to not leak water. But ice on demand was now possible. So was Air conditioning and Refrigeration.

    Dr. Gorrie tried to raise money to manufacture his machines. But he faced a number of challenges, mostly from a number of less than supportive newspaper stories that made claims that his Ice was in some ways less pure then the ice harvested from the tops of the Charles River in Boston. The “Ice Lobby” in Boston was not ready for disruption. He became humiliated by criticism and as a result became reclusive. This impacted his health and he lost all of his savings making working prototypes.

    The first ever patent for an Ice Machine was granted to John Gorrie in 1851, after he had perfected his 1842 invention of a system that was able to chill water to produce ice. However his plan to manufacture the machine for the general public was thwarted by a smear campaign led by Frederic Tudor, and the death of his partner. He died four years later in 1855, humiliated and financially ruined. He lays buried in Apalachicola, at Gorrie Square, and his original machine and plans are held at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Dr Gorrie died in seclusion and penniless on June 29, 1855. It took another 50 years before Ice machines became popular (1905). It was all too late for Dr Gorrie and his Ice Making contraption.

    Alexander Twining also received a patent for an Ice Making Machine in 1853. His experiments led to the first commercial refrigeration system in the USA (1856) and he also established the first practical method for bulk producing ice by artificial means.

    A Scotsman living in Australia, working as a Newspaper Printer by the name of James Harrison developed an interest in refrigeration and ice making, and he began to experiment with ether vapour compression. His first Ice Making Machine was created in 1851, and it was soon followed in 1854 by a commercial version which was able to produce up to 3,000kg (6,613 lb) of ice per day. He was granted a patent for this system in 1855. His experiments with refrigeration continued and he is credited with helping to develop cooling systems and strategies to transport fresh frozen meats across the globe.

    Professor Jürgen Hans also experimented with ice creation and in 1929 he successfully developed a machine that was capable of making ice that was edible. He started a company in 1932 in the name of his wife Külinda. By 1949 the company’s main business was the design and distribution of central air conditioning.
    Last edited by MP242; February 24th, 2020 at 10:43 AM.

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    There's a very interesting photo on-line of a wooden ice house that burned down and the blocks of ice are still stacked in rows looking like they were barely affected by the fire. If I find it I'll post a link, but it seems like ice in quantity can create its own micro climate which delays melting.
    Plainly people back then knew a thing or two about handling, storing and transporting ice that we don't know about today.
    Narcolepsy is not napping.



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    People believe you created this thread for the purpose of trolling and to increase your post count because as you have shown you could have google the subject first and then asked specific questions related to railroads and or other forms of transportation. Added to that your rather snippy responses when someone took the time to give you an answer. That sort of behavior only leads to people ignoring you all together. You seem to be smart and knowledgeable about many things so just try to return the respect to others that you want to receive.

    William

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    The noise of 100 Irishmen shattered the solitude of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond sanctuary during the hard winter of 1846. The eccentric transcendentalist peeked out the window of the rustic cabin where he came to “suck out all the marrow of life” and watched as the Tudor Ice Company’s immigrant laborers started to suck out 10,000 tons of Walden Pond’s frozen water.

    The pond ice harvested over the course of three weeks was shipped to eager consumers as far away as South Carolina, Louisiana and even India. “The sweltering inhabitants of Charleston and New Orleans, of Madras and Bombay and Calcutta, drink at my well,” Thoreau wrote in “Walden.” Of course, the beverage sippers didn’t know they were imbibing from Thoreau’s bathtub as well Har Har, but the masses likely wouldn’t have cared anyway. Until the middle of the 1800s, ice had been a luxury good enjoyed only by the rich, but that had all changed thanks to Frederic Tudor, the Boston entrepreneur known as the “Ice King.”

    Tudor was just a 22-year-old visionary whiz kid when he dreamt up the scheme to harvest wintertime ice from New England’s ponds and rivers and export it to the tropical French colony of Martinique where it could be used to cool drinks, preserve food and soothe patients suffering from yellow fever. According to Tudor, his venture “excited the derision of the whole town as a mad project.” Even his father thought it was “wild and ruinous.” The business model of the ice trade was simple supply and demand, but getting the product to market without melting was the challenge. When Tudor couldn’t find any merchant willing to ship water—even if it was frozen—inside his ship, he bought his own brig for $4,750 and set sail in 1806 with 130 tons of ice cut from a pond on the family estate outside Boston. “No joke. A vessel with a cargo of ice has cleared out from this port for Martinique. We hope this will not prove to be a slippery speculation,” mocked the Boston Gazette. Packed in hay, most of the ice survived the three-week voyage, but with no icehouses to store the goods in Martinique, Tudor saw his profits quickly melt away. He lost $4,000 on the voyage.

    Undeterred, Tudor shipped 240 tons of ice to Havana the following year but again made no money. The Embargo Act of 1807 and the War of 1812 crippled American shipping and put Tudor’s business on ice. With his losses mounting, Tudor twice ended up in debtor’s prison, but onward he pushed. Learning from his mistakes, he ensured icehouses were built at arrival ports and harvest locations. By constantly experimenting, he discovered that sawdust minimized melting better than hay. The Bostonian gained monopolies in Havana and Jamaica and found domestic success by shipping ice to Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans. Tudor tirelessly touted the merits of his product—even offering bartenders free ice to give customers chilled drinks to get them hooked—but the workload led to anxiety, exhaustion and a bout of depression in 1821.

    After he recuperated in Cuba, Tudor’s ice trade took off when he teamed up in 1825 with Nathaniel Wyeth, one of his suppliers, who invented a two-bladed, horse-drawn ice cutter. The device scored an ice sheet into a checkerboard grid of blocks that could easily be pried out with iron bars. Wyeth’s innovation replaced the laborious process of harvesting ice with pickaxes, chisels and saws, and enabled mass production. Plus, the uniform blocks, basically giant ice cubes, could be packed more tightly to minimize melting.

    The revolutionary technology was tested when Tudor shipped ice on a 16,000-mile journey from Boston to Calcutta in 1833. Despite spending four months at sea, most of the 180-ton shipment arrived in India intact. The crystal-clear New England ice caused such a sensation in Calcutta that within three days residents commissioned the construction of an icehouse.

    Finally, the determined Tudor had proven it was possible to mass-produce a supply of natural ice and successfully deliver it anywhere in the world where there was demand. The ice trade boomed, and Tudor became the industry’s frosty tycoon. When measured in weight, cotton was the only “crop” shipped in greater supply by American ships in the years before the Civil War. India was the Ice King’s most profitable realm, a market so lucrative that it allowed Tudor to pay off more than $200,000 in debt he had accrued on a disastrous coffee speculation and fulfill his wealthy dreams. The ice trade became a bedrock of 19th-century New England commerce. By 1856, nearly 150,000 tons of ice a year left on ships from Boston to 43 foreign countries, including China, Australia and Japan. Aided by the railroads, domestic consumption was even greater.

    When Tudor died at the age of 80 in 1864, he was a millionaire. In cities around the world, the Ice King had transformed frozen water from a luxury to a necessity. Natural ice was so commonplace that when warm winters and shipping problems caused “ice famines,” cities were thrown into panic. (During ice shortages in Calcutta, a doctor’s note was needed in order to buy more than the allotted amount of ice.) The American ice trade flourished well into the 1900s until electric refrigerators and freezers came of age in the 1930s.

    So this summer, whenever you hear the clink of an ice cube, raise up a frosty drink and toast the Ice King.

    Who would have ever thought ? Last time we had a huge area wide power outage that lasted for 36 hours, I duct taped my freezer full of rock solid frozen food shut, so no one could open it up. After 36 hours my ice cubes had shrunk 1/2 their normal size, and my once frozen rock hard frozen meats were kinda' crystally, mooshy, endanger of totally defrosting in another 24 hours. Inside of 5 min, people were all madly rushing out of their houses, with their family of 5 whaling children, to live in their cramped air-conditioned, running compact automobiles.

    The ice company delivered 10 bags of 31 F, iffy' ice to a backyard party, for $150, and it was promptly put into sturdy insulated picnic coolers, and it was all melted into water, sitting on the porch in the summer shade after 20 minutes, $150 down the drain, as it's water ran into the backyard pool.

    A local "Ice Company" slogan: "Ice Is A Food", "Our only renewable natural resource" !
    Last edited by MP242; February 24th, 2020 at 10:51 AM.
    My apologies to all. I have decided that in these horrible current events, we all need to stick together as a Community

  9. #24
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    I can personally attest as to how long ice can stay frozen without insulation during summer. New Years Day 2020 (mid summer here in Oz) where we were holidaying was cut off from road access and electric power by the recent catastrophic bush-fires we experienced. At midday we discovered that the local Fisherman's Co-op was giving away its shaved ice to any and all as they had no power to keep it and their fish cold. We grabbed several large containers full to help keep our food perishables cold. By the time we got back to our residence the power had been restored and our refrigeration was again working. We held onto the ice just in case there was another power failure.

    By late afternoon we were assured that the power was back on permanently. Thinking that the melting ice would eventually cause a flood in the laundry where I had stored it, I dumped it outside on the back lawn believing that it would not last long. The minimum temperature that night was in the low 20s (C).

    The next morning I discovered that most of the ice was still there where I had dumped it.

    Possibly the bulk of the ice, in one large mass, had been the reason why it survived. Only the ice on the outside had melted while the interior had maintained its sub-zero temperature.

    Water has a very high heat capacity, which means it can absorb a very large quantity of heat and only show a small resulting change in temperature.
    Last edited by pware; February 24th, 2020 at 04:55 PM.
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    From watching TV Westerns, I had no idea of ice before the 1870. I envisioned that electricity was relatively unheard of, and ice would have been manufactured powered by stationary steam engines, powering machinery compressors via belts and pulleys.

    When a saloon received a big block of ice by RR insulated refrigerator boxcar, I guess they had to immediately fire up the ol' telegraph, and send Morse code transmission: "Send More Ice, stop, Pronto, stop"

    I used to scoop up tossed out bags of ice that had holes in bags at a beer distributor across the parking lot, that were unsalable, and fill my insulated cooler with the discarded ice daily, and even though I had a water overflow drain hose in my cooler, the ice Cubes/Chips completely melted overnight. One time we went into the food store, and when we came out firetrucks were surrounding my car, as someone reported gasoline was seen leaking from the car trunk cooler, running across the parking lot. We were constantly buying bags of ice chips daily.

    It seems that I was buying cheepo' 31 F, iffy' modern day ice, not quality ice blocks from Boston.

    Many times we build a 2 ton snow fort, and drenched it with a water hose, letting it freeze overnight in 20 F weather, until it was a rock hard solid ice block. It always melted ever so quickly, in the shade, in winter temps just slightly above 32 degrees F. We even camped out in the snow fort igloo, for @ 30 min, then went inside to get warm.

    In Chicago they were dumping snow into the river sending down to melt in St Louis, or Buffalo NY filling empty coal hopper cars south to melt in St Louis.

    When I was in the great interior of Alaska, the river ice breakup flow was mind blowing unbelievable, with avalanche's, and rock slides all the time, during snow melt and floods. Even the glaciers are melting away at alarming rates.

    Recently a chunk of an Antarctica ice shelf broke off, and an ice berg is floating away, the 1/2 size of Manhattan.
    Last edited by MP242; February 25th, 2020 at 01:16 AM.
    My apologies to all. I have decided that in these horrible current events, we all need to stick together as a Community

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by pware View Post
    I can personally attest as to how long ice can stay frozen without insulation during summer. New Years Day 2020 (mid summer here in Oz) where we were holidaying was cut off from road access and electric power by the recent catastrophic bush-fires we experienced. At midday we discovered that the local Fisherman's Co-op was giving away its shaved ice to any and all as they had no power to keep it and their fish cold. We grabbed several large containers full to help keep our food perishables cold. By the time we got back to our residence the power had been restored and our refrigeration was again working. We held onto the ice just in case there was another power failure.

    By late afternoon we were assured that the power was back on permanently. Thinking that the melting ice would eventually cause a flood in the laundry where I had stored it, I dumped it outside on the back lawn believing that it would not last long. The minimum temperature that night was in the low 20s (C).

    The next morning I discovered that most of the ice was still there where I had dumped it.

    Possibly the bulk of the ice, in one large mass, had been the reason why it survived. Only the ice on the outside had melted while the interior had maintained its sub-zero temperature.

    Water has a very high heat capacity, which means it can absorb a very large quantity of heat and only show a small resulting change in temperature.
    I've seen the same effect as well with melting snow and ice. Cold water, and ice especially has a 'chaining' effect where the cold core will cause surrounding water to chill and freeze which causes further surrounding water to freeze and so on. In the spring weather, we will see temps go as high as the mid-20's (C) and there will still be thick patches of snow on the ground. Eventually the heat does get the better of these stubborn vestiges of winter, and they soon succumb to the warmer weather. As a kid we'd seek out these cold patches and have snowball fights with the grainy snow that's left usually out of the sun in the shade.
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    Evanston, WY, was one of the icing points on the UP. The Bear River was (and still is) diverted into ponds where, in the winter, ice blocks were cut and stored in a large "ice warehouse". The blocks were packed tightly with sawdust, the insulator, and the ice lasted most, if not all, of the summer. The ice warehouse burned down long ago and I don't know exactly where it was located but it had to be close to the ice ponds. Although Evanston can get get rather warm in the summer daytime, the nights, even in the summer, routinely drop into the 40(s)°F so ice, correctly stored, can last a long time. Heck, I've seen a ¼" of frost on exposed surfaces in mid-July! No, we don't have much of a growing session here.

    Laramie, WY, also had and icing plant. My mother-in-law's brother worked there icing refeers when he was young.

    If you go on Google Earth and search for Evanston, WY, you'll see the ice ponds easily. They are the "square" water ponds just north of UP's tracks opposite the WalMart parking lot. Today, the ice ponts are fishing pond and, in the winter, the city clears part of one for skating. I don't know if the actual icing tracks are there anymore but might be part of the yard tracks on the north side of the UP mainlines.

    Take care,
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    Quote Originally Posted by MP242 View Post
    I think they are physically lying to ya !

    Creates ice in summer, melts in winter, ya
    No. It's real. I saw it on a TV show on the Science Channel called Secrets of the Underground, where two guys explore the underground using the latest technology. Here's the Wikipedia article which corroborates their theory as to why ice forms in the summer and melts in the winter: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coudersport_Ice_Mine
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  14. #29
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    Here's a branch off of the Boston and Lowell (B&M) to Horn Pond in Woburn, MA. Located at the end of this branch was an ice house used to store the ice collected during the winter months.


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    Here's a couple more locations in the greater Boston area - one in Arlington and the other in Belmont.
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