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Keep it Cool

 
 
 
“Ice Cutting at Spy Pond,” West Cambridge,Massachusetts
From Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing-room Companion, February 18, 1854
Courtesy of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities
Ice Box
From the Montgomery Ward & Co. Catalogue, Spring and Summer 1895
H. P. Hood Milk Car No. 5,Derry, New Hampshire, circa 1885
Courtesy of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities
H. P. Hood’s railroad car used ice in transporting milk from Derry, New Hampshire, to Boston. Ice-cooled milk kept fresher as it traveled to the city, where it could be delivered to customers daily.
KEEP IT COOL
Cooling and refrigeration extended the shelf life of milk products. Supplied by ice men, home ice boxes in the late 1800s and early 1900s provided a way to keep food cold. Farmers, some dairies, and ice dealers cut ice from frozen lakes and ponds in the winter. Packed in sawdust in an ice house, winter ice could be used to cool milk cans and ice boxes, even in the summer months.
 
“Milk Bottles”
Cover of The Saturday Evening Post by Stevan Dohanos, January 8, 1944
Courtesy of Maureen Glasier

Sometimes cold — at least too much of it — wasn’t a good thing. Sitting for too long exposed on a porch in the winter, the milk would freeze and the cream would expand up out of the bottle in a frozen column, pushing the cap with it.

 
Keep it Cool