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Hello everybody,

I would like to build a working Iehouse. It will look similar to the one from "JL Innovative Design" called Brookside Icehouse. Mine will be used form the Coca Cola Company, so it will be painted in red and white and will have advertising signs on the walls. I will try to make it work like a real one, so that little iceblocks can be load to waiting Coca Cola Boxcars. My question: How did a real Icehouse work? Was it just an isolated wood building? How came the ice in the house? And how did the workers get it in the cars? Does anybody have detail pictures from the loading process?

Thank you very much!

Greetings from germany!

Jurgen
 

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Jurgen

Here is a link to a topic in the old MLS forums maybe you can get what you are looking for from it. There's a reply on the first page that gives you a link to The American Memory site where you can find a great deal of information pictures and drawings and such.

On the second page there are a couple of photographs of Ron Senek's icing platform he modeled.


MLS Archived Topics: Icing Platform
Hope the above is found to be of help to you.
 

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Pre-electricity days, smaller ice houses use to freeze blocks in the winter (or cut lake ice in the winter, as they did for the ice house we had at the cottage) and pack it in sawdust. It would keep all summer. The cottage ice house still has about 3 feet of sawdust on the floor from the days of cutting blocks. The cottage ice house wasn't insulated - I'm sure commercial one would have been.
 

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Jurgen,

The April 2007 Garden Railways magazin had an artical Bringing back the "Ice Age" The artical was on how to model blocks of ice, but the background info and the photos of the ice house with platform and loaders were great.

Dave
 

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Posted By toddalin on 01/13/2008 11:50 AM
Rooster Creek probably has about the "coolest" ice house with an operating conveyor belt and even an articulated figure with a pole shoving ice blocks in the reefers.
Thanks for showing these links. That is every bit as spectacular as you indicated. I will be keeping these photo links for reference--very inspiring.

My regards,

--Ron in CC
 

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Here in Canada, the icehouse normally worked in the following way.

At a lake conveniently located on the District (CN's term for a Division), a contractor would saw blocks of ice 2 feet square and about 20 inches or more thick. A gang of men with handsaws would cut the ice and load them to horse drawn sleds for delivery to the main icehouse. This method was in use until the 1940s.

The sled would bring the ice to the main ice house on the district where the ice was stored in sawdult in a wooden somewhat insulated building. Ice was shipped from there by reefer to other icehouses in the District. The Northern Ontario District for example iced reefers at Capreol, Hornepayne and Armstrong plus shipped ice to southern Ontario as well.

At the icehouse itself, each day, the bull gang (a gang of men who worked at the subdivision yard and did any dirty manual labour required) would load by ice pick enough ice for the day. The loading process usually used a conveyor to lift the ice to the icing platform. Once on the platform, the ice house crew would ice each reefer according to the specific icing instructions on the waybill. Some cars took block ice in the hatches, some took ice chips, some took brine, some ice sprayed over the cargo. The icehouse crew used ice picks, tongs and ice shavers to get ice sized and loaded. Make no mistake, it was tough work.

Other often overlooked users of ice were passenger cars with ice activated air conditioning. The bull gang would deliver block ice to the station track in advance of the arrival of a train to be iced. Men from the passenger car department would muscle the blocks into the steel under car compartments during the train's station stop. Again, very hard work.

Regards ... Doug
 

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Posted By toddalin on 01/13/2008 11:50 AM
Rooster Creek probably has about the "coolest" ice house with an operating conveyor belt and even an articulated figure with a pole shoving ice blocks in the reefers.

Cool pics. I worked at a place called John Ingles for two seasons (brussel sprouts and brocolii) They were a part of union Ice. At that time Union Ices operations were really small and mostly dedicated to freezing the vegatables that were packed at John Ingles. Once frozed they were loaded on refrigerator Box Cars and Semi Trucks. I would have liked to have seen it in its hey day when Box cars didn't have their own refrigeration.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hello everybody,

boy, these pics are truly great. Thank you all for the input.
I will use parts of the huge Piko COOP Storage building for my
Icehouse. As soon as I have pics, I will post them.

Greetings!

Jurgen
 

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Posted By Dougald on 01/13/2008 5:52 PM
Here in Canada, the icehouse normally worked in the following way.

At a lake conveniently located on the District (CN's term for a Division), a contractor would saw blocks of ice 2 feet square and about 20 inches or more thick. A gang of men with handsaws would cut the ice and load them to horse drawn sleds for delivery to the main icehouse. This method was in use until the 1940s.. .

Other often overlooked users of ice were passenger cars with ice activated air conditioning. The bull gang would deliver block ice to the station track in advance of the arrival of a train to be iced. Men from the passenger car department would muscle the blocks into the steel under car compartments during the train's station stop. Again, very hard work.

Regards ... Doug
Wonderful historic information. We still use this ice-cutting method on lakes and ponds around Fairbanks for our annual ice-sculpting competition in March. We have some of the purest ice up there that exists anywhere. Contestants come from all over the world to try a hand at carving that pond ice with often magnificent results.

I was not aware of the use of ice blocks under the coach compartments. Very interesting indeed.
 

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In the Article I wrote for MLS on passenger trains, I showed a picture http://archive.mylargescale.com/articles/articles/passengertrains/ch3/images/saskatoon.jpg of the setup in Saskatoon on the Canadian National.

If you look closely at that picture, you can see narrow gauge tracks between each pair of station tracks. Those ng tracks were used for the spacial cars which brought ice from the ice house to the passenger terminal for loading in ice activated air conditioning. Ice air conditioning was in widespread use from the mid 30s through to the end of heavyweight car operations (about 1960 or so). Lightweight cars did not use ice for air conditioning.

Regards ... Doug
 
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