Thanks to technology and engineering, keeping food and drink cold is something we take for granted, except when the power goes out. But during the 19th and the early parts of the 20th century there was a whole industry around ice farming, the act of cutting up blocks of ice from frozen ponds, and selling that ice to those who couldn’t produce ice. Ice farms occurred across New England, including this one in Needham.
The ice would be cut up into blocks and would be stored in large warehouses and refrigerated trucks, and was shipped to parts of the country where it rarely got cold, or to boats for fisherman to use to keep the fish they caught fresh. The U.S. Ice Trade, as it was called at its height, employed over 90,000 people. It’s a great example of the entrepreneurial spirit, finding a resource that one region has a bounty of, and finding a way to market to people who need it.
Throwback Thursday: New Year's Eve 2016