Ice was harvested from ponds and streams and kept in ice houses before being transported by ship, barge, or railroad to its eventual destination throughout the world. Tudor gained a fortune from the India trade, and brand names like Wenham Ice became well-known in London.
In the United States, ice was made in many ways depending on where you lived. In the North, people dug shallow wells that were covered with dirt during winter months. When spring came, they opened the covers of the wells to let out the heat that had accumulated over the winter months. This method was very inefficient because it required people to open and close the covers every year for years on end.
In the South, people built large wooden frames that were filled with sand or gravel to create an air space between the wood and the ice. They inserted metal rods into the wood and then wrapped the ends of the rods in cloth to make handles. They would then pull on these handles to extract the ice from the pond or stream. This method was much more efficient than digging wells but it could only be done during certain periods of time due to the need for the wood to breathe. If exposed to water, the wood will eventually decay and have to be replaced.
In modern times, ice is made by removing excess water from frozen lakes and ponds.
Ice wagon networks were commonly employed to transport the product to final home and small business clients.
Before the advent of electricity, ice was made by exposing water to cold temperatures. This can be done either by burying logs in snowdrifts or by using ice caves. As the water freezes, it expands into empty spaces, causing the logs or rocks inside the cave to smash against each other, making an enormous amount of noise! Modern-day ice makers use a similar process, except that they use machines instead of humans to expose water to low temperatures.
People have been making ice for thousands of years, long before modern technology provided alternatives. For example, ancient Egyptians made ice by scraping frozen pools and lakes with sharp tools such as axes. They also made use of natural ice caves, which are areas within a glacier where freezing occurs naturally at a slower rate than elsewhere. The word "icebox" comes from this practice, since people used boxes for storing the ice.
In Europe, Asia, and Africa, ice was traditionally made from frozen blood extracted from animals such as cows, pigs, or sheep. This blood is poured into large metal drums called cáscars that are exposed to cold temperatures.
They used to cut ice from frozen lakes and rivers and transport it to specially constructed "ice homes," "ice caverns," or "ice cellars," where it would stay for the whole summer. I know most people don't equate Old Western towns with ice cream and soda fountains, but they were very popular in the 1870s, especially among the ladies. The ice was usually sold by the glass, with some vendors offering mixed flavors.
In addition to being a source of refreshment for residents of these towns, the ice cream was also used as a form of currency. Some merchants would not accept money at all, instead requiring that customers pay for their purchases in ice cream.
There are several theories about why this practice began. One theory is that the ice cream makers placed more expensive ingredients like nuts or fruit in the cheaper varieties. This way, people could buy what they wanted without spending all their cash on one flavor. The other theory is that the artists who worked for the companies that made the ice cream designed their products to look attractive but be difficult to eat, thus forcing customers to buy more. Either way, it's clear that ice cream was important to life in these towns, even if only as a means of payment.
Today, many Western towns have lost their original identities to shopping malls or tourism, but before 1950, most had preserved their old streetscapes with new buildings being constructed according to modern building codes.
They must have taken ice from the mountains at regular intervals and kept it as chilly as possible. Yes, they cut massive slabs of it, and a large amount of it would melt on the trip back, making it a very expensive item. It was then buried and preserved in chilly chambers.
Ice was an important commodity for the ancients. They used it to chill drinks and food, and also for medical purposes. Ice was valued more than metal because it could be melted down and reused over and over again. Ancient peoples didn't have any idea about how long ice lasts so they just assumed that if you put it in a cold place you wouldn't need to refresh it too often.
That's what happened to the ice in the Roman chambers which were built with this purpose in mind. The ice remained frozen until it was needed and then it was melted in front of guests who enjoyed the novelty of icy drinks and dishes. After the party there was nothing left to do but sweep up the shards.
People have been storing ice since ancient times. There are several methods used today that were invented then. One method uses plastic bags and another uses containers made of glass or ceramic. Both work fine as long as you don't want to eat your ice cream off of it! If you do want to eat your ice cream off of it, go ahead and buy some plastic bags and some cardboard boxes.