1919 Ice Harvesting Video Shows What It Took to Keep Foods Frozen

I don’t have to tell you that it’s freezing outside! So what better day to show this 1919 film about the arduous process of ice harvesting.

Before refrigeration became widespread in the early part of the 20th century, the only way to keep foods like ice cream frozen was by cutting blocks of ice from nearby lakes and streams. This video chronicles the entire process—from the backbreaking labor involved in sawing through a frozen pond, to carting the ice to an ice house where it was stored. Thanks to Edward De Jesus for pointing out this film from the┬áPrelinger Archives, San Francisco.


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