Heard of Ice Trade?
Do you know once Ice was shipped from New England to all over the world?
But how it traveled all the way without melting?
Do you know the guy who was called the Ice king of the world?
Do you know there is a history for the Icehouse which is situated in Chennai?
Ice King – Its not just another fantasy name.
He got the name due to his success in harvesting and shipping ice from New England to all corners of the globe from the Caribbean to as far away as India and Hong Kong.
Ice was packed with rice shaft, wood shaft, and shipped to prevent it from getting melted fast. Scientists those days also analyzed the ice and told it was saltless.
Let me narrate you the story of a famous man in the 90’s American business industry “Frederic Tudor“.
Who is Frederic Tudor?
Frederic Tudor was born in Boston on September 4, 1783.
The Tudors belonged to a prominent Boston Brahmin family, and Frederic inherited his family’s grounds in Nahant, Massachusetts. In 1825, after constructing his summer cottage in the center of town, he began a lifelong campaign to plant trees on treeless Nahant. By 1832 he had 3,358 trees growing in his nursery and within two years he had some 4,000 trees in cultivation, offering them to summer residents for free if they would plant them on their properties.
The family grounds are now the Nahant Country Club.
A spark of an idea
Frederic’s brother William suggested that the ice from their pond can be harvested and sold at ports in the Caribbean. Tudor fell in love with the concept and began preparations for his first shipment. (ref In Tudor ice)
Struggle of words
At first, people thought Tudor crazy. The Boston Gazette famously wrote “No Joke, a vessel has cleared at the custom-house for Martinique with a cargo of ice. We hope this will not prove a slippery speculation.” ref in Tudor ice.
A ship filled with 130 tons (11794 kilograms) of ice cut from Massachusetts pond (Wenham lake ) arrived in Martinique(Caribbean island). From this success of shipment, he launched the commercial ice industry.
Journey in ice
He made ice a necessity product to preserve food and medicine for people by doing a lot of shipments. In 1855, 12 companies had shipped ice from Boston. Even in the Civil war more tons of ice had been shipped by America than any other commodity except cotton.
In 1862 Jerry Thomas published his book “The Bartenders Guide” with recipes for America’s cocktails with mostly ice used in it.
Today, If Ice plays a big role in eating and drinking it is all because of Tudor.
He gave free ice to bartenders for years after teaching them how to make cocktails and how to keep it frozen in a refrigerating jar. He even sold ice to the keeper of the Tivoli Gardens and Havana shop coffee shop owners after teaching them how to make ‘Ice cream’.
In 1825, Nathaniel Wyeth (hotel owner) invented the horse-drawn ice plow that cut ice from ponds far more cheaply and efficiently than the laborious hand used. Tudor hired Wyeth as his foreman and expanded his ice-cutting operation.
He had the idea that a shipment of ice would survive the voyage to India. The arrival of the ice caused a sensation, especially among the colonial British administrators. Henry David Thoreau watched Tudor’s men divided Walden pond into a chessboard pattern and cut the ice into a square, two-foot blocks.
Thoreau wrote, “The pure Walden water is mingled with the sacred water of the Ganges “.
He died in 1864. His fortune is worth $200 million today (20 Crores approximately in rupees).
His estate became a country club. The ice business had thrived but in later years artificial refrigeration overtook the need for natural ice in 1854 and by the invention of commercial ice maker to make their own ice for cocktails and ice cream.
Tudor Ice Company
In 2014, the Tudor ice Company is once again re-inventing the industry with its revolutionary new line of premium chillers. The Tudor ice melts slower than traditional ice due to its size, shape, and density. Large ice shapes have less surface area exposed to the elements so it melts slower. All excess gasses and minerals are removed from the water before filling the container, hence the resulting ice is significantly denser than traditional ice.
History of ice house
In 1842 he constructed the building facing the Bay of Bengal as a facility to store ice.
By 1880 the business collapsed and it was sold to “Biligiri Iyengar” an advocate in Madras High court. Iyengar re-modeled it and named it Castle Kernan. The wait for your doubt had come to an end about the name “Vivekanandar Illam”. When Swami Vivekananda visited Madras in 1897, he stayed in that building for a few days. So the Government of Tamil Nadu renamed it has Vivekanandar Illam meaning Vivekanandar House in Tamil. The govt leased the building to Ramakrishna Math and now houses an exhibition on the life of Swami Vivekananda.
“It is my solemn resolution to accomplish a most brilliant success or perish in the attempt “-Fredrick Tudor