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Cutting Ice

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Natural ice was first sold in American cities beginning in the 1790s, becoming widely available in the late 1820s. By the 1850s, it had become very important in the transportation of meat, fruits, and dairy products. With ice, these products could be sold far from where they were produced. This photograph was taken in the 1960s as a demonstration of the ice harvesting practices used over one hundred years earlier. Here the pond surface has already been cut with grooves about 3" deep. An ice plow with blades about 8 inches long is run along the grooves, making deep cuts in the ice.


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