A coolly fascinating, nostalgic glimpse into life as it was over a century ago.
Long before the invention of the refrigerator, various methods were used to chill food and drink and to keep perishables from spoiling. Along came forward-thinking individuals who thought to make ice available on a year-round basis—even, remarkably, in locales where it didn’t occur naturally. Eventually, the ice industry was born, leading to ever-better technological innovations for cutting, harvesting, transporting and storing it in enormous ice houses along the banks of lakes and rivers. Selling eager customers ice from fresh, unpolluted sources became a thriving consumer and commercial enterprise. Pringle’s writing is as clear and sharp as well-hewn blocks of ice, and the book is a visually refreshing treat: Modern readers are brought directly into a past they may hardly have imagined by marvelous contemporary advertisements; black-and-white and color photos and engravings featuring tools, customers and workers in action; colorful, entertaining, informative sidebars and more. Youngsters may not believe that a commodity they take so for granted in their drinking glasses is the stuff of such fast-paced, absorbing historical reading. Very well-documented, even including links to some short Edison films.
Readers will regard their refrigerators and freezers in a whole new, respectful light. (websites, list of films, source notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)