Sunday, August 14, 2011

Crushed or Cubed?

Would you like crushed or cubed? What a wonderful choice we have for our soda, tea or fancy frozen adult drinks all with a push of button on the refrigerator door; however, this was not always the case. Cubed ice was a luxury in most homes until the 40s when prices for modern refrigeration were within reach of the post war household. Until that time many homes used an insulated ice box where food was cooled using a large block of ice, delivered by an ice man who would come by in his horse drawn cart. The ice would have to be chipped by hand if you wanted to enjoy a nice cold drink.

This ice box was owned by my husband's great aunt. I use it in the garage to store my gardening supplies, for now. The block of ice would be placed in the top left compartment.

It even has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, complete with instructions for use. You can see from the inside (you will just have to excuse the mess) that there is not much room for the amount of food we are used to today. If there is ever a time when I need to use something like this for my refrigeration, I'm set. But what about the cubes?

This brings me back to the original photo. The ice crusher pictured above sat on my grandmother's porch for decades, holding small gardening tools so she could do some light weeding or plant pretty flowers. After she died we took it to our house, where it sits on our porch although without gardening tools in the hopper. She would be pleased.

"Selden Gladwin North established a foundry in Philadelphia in 1878. His brother, Ralph, joined the company in 1880, and the company became North Brothers. The name was changed to North Brothers Manufacturing Co. in 1887. The company made ice-cream makers, egg beaters, meat cutters, tobacco cutters and other metal items. By 1910 it was making screwdrivers, drills, braces and other tools. North Brothers Manufacturing Co. was sold to The Stanley Works in 1946:

The 1934 ad for #106 reads : "with flywheel for homes, restaurants, clubs, where larger amount of chipped ice is wanted. Hopper (3 7/8 x 4 1/2 inches), takes block ice, or six to a dozen ice cubes. Price $9.75."

ice ad link
ice history link
patent link 1931


Lace up and Walk said...

Love it! I have the same style icebox in my family room...right now it holds cookbooks but it could be converted to a fridge if needed. I'd only have to find a block of ice:)

Manny said...

I'm not that old to have known an ice box, but I have wondered how long they kept the ice frozen. I remember watching Jackie Gleaqson and the Honeymooners where they had an ice box in their kitchen. That's the only time I've ever seen one.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I hear it was a couple of times a week but I suppose it depended on the weather and how insulated your ice box was. My father in law has an ice card hanging in his garage window- most people don't know what it is. It had different quantities and depending on how you hung it, the ice man would know how much to deliver.It was big block ice.