The End of the Ice Ships
By the latter decades of the eighteenth century, the ice ships were falling out of favor due to the introduction of mechanical refrigeration and the ability to manufacture ice on the spot, without incurring shipping costs. But during their heyday, the ice ships carried a vital cargo far afield, and in many regions the family ice box became a household item used to take advantage of this new and longed for novel product.
The legacy of the ice ships is that they were crucial in establishing ice not as merely a luxury, but an expected staple of everyday life. Indeed, the very recognition that ice was such a useful substance came about as a direct result of the efforts of the ice ship captains, crews, and owners who took the financial and physical risks involved in shipping ice across the world. And it can fairly be said that the recognition of ice as an essential in everyday life drove later innovations in artificially manufactured ice, which each of us now takes for granted as a product of our modern freezers.
The Ice King: Hamilton, Neil A., American History Vol. 35 Issue 4, October 2000
The Impact of Refrigeration: Barbara Krasner-Khait
Kennebec (Maine) Ice: How the Humble Ice Cube Made Business History, Caroline Jordan
Bureau of Labor and Statistics Annual Report Volume 21: Maine Ice Industry: L.C. Ballard