ice blocks

In the days before mechanical refrigeration became a household technology, ice companies delivered blocks of ice to homes and businesses. Placed in insulated “ice boxes”, the melting ice kept food cool.

Weight
(pounds)
Dimensions
of freezing can
(inches)
Hours needed to freeze,
at a brine temperature of 15°F
25 4×10×24 12
50 6×12×26 20
100 8×15×32 36
100 11×11×32 48
150 8×15×44 36
150 10×15×36 48
200 10×20×36 48
200 11×22×32 54
200 14×14×40 65
300 11×22×44 54
400 11×22×56 54

Above data from the Buffalo Refrigerating Machine Co., early 20th century.

advertisement for ice boxes

From the Sears, Roebuck and Co. Catalog No. 111, 1902, page 575. Note the reference to “artificial ice,” that is, ice produced in an ice plant employing mechanical refrigeration, in contrast to ice cut from a pond in the winter.

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