When you think of your childhood, the first thing you think of is ice, in all its shapes and forms. Ice creams, popsicles, long, tall glasses of lemonade and iced tea, we could go on and on. It is hard to think of surviving the summer heat without wanting to dunk handfuls of ice cubes to cool down our drinks as well as our minds.
But did you know we have an American businessman and merchant to actually thank for singlehandedly turning ice into a commodity? Yes, you read that right, and that person’s name is Frederic Tudor. Widely ridiculed for his idea of harvesting wintertime ice from New England's frozen ponds and shipping it to hotter parts of the world, Tudor’s persistence paid off in 1820 when he devised a brilliant way to insulate ice aboard ships by packing it in sawdust. Soon after the infamous War of 1812, his business took off and he began to experience real success. By 1830s, his customers included Queen Victoria as well as British colonists in India. His ice was shipped from Boston to Bombay, and other ports of India (including Calcutta, and Madras), as well as from Massachusetts to Martinique and other Caribbean islands.
PHOTO CREDIT © Wikipedia
This journey took 10 years, far from an overnight success for Tudor. When he started in 1806, the 22-year-old visionary kid (much like the whiz entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley today) first had to create a market by convincing people they needed his product aka ice. He travelled across United States getting people to try out ice, and sometimes even giving it away for free. He wholeheartedly believed he could change the way people drink and even taught people how to make ice last, and what to do with it. To get started in the business of exporting ice, Tudor took on a lot of risks which were unusual at the time. In an era of rental spaces, he purchased his own ship for cargo leaving Boston. Incurring a lot of debt, he was even imprisoned during early business troubles, but he persevered through his troubles to ultimately build a highly successful ice business empire.
Dozens of workers in Arlington, Massachusetts (then West Cambridge) cut ice from Spy Pond in 1845.
PHOTO CREDIT © CORBIS/CORBIS VIA GETTY IMAGES
Often described as being stubborn, and a genius at the same time, Tudor has indisputably held the title of Boston’s “Ice King”, through the years. Despite his eccentricities, Massachusetts Historical Society portrayed Tudor as both a businessman and someone who had aided society: “We remember and regard Frederic Tudor as a benefactor of mankind, by supplying an article not of luxury only for the wealthy and the well, but of such unspeakable comfort and refreshment for the sick and enfeebled in tropical climates, and which has already become one of the necessities of life for all who have enjoyed it in any climate.”
Speaking of ice, we’ve shared ice drink recipes in our previous blog, but did you know there are a myriad of other uses of ice besides chilling your drinks? You can make your life easier, following these brilliant hacks and innovative tricks.
Meet the cutest Reddy Ice fan - Oakley - The 6-Year-Old German Wire Hair Puppy
Now that you know these brilliant hacks, you’re sure to want to load up on some ice. Visit our products page to learn more. Behind every frozen, delicious cube of Reddy Ice is a company that values consistency, quality, and service above all else. Our nationwide customer base has come to expect the highest standards in product quality, delivery and flexible service options. This commitment to exceptional service is why we are one of America’s leading brands in ice production and manufacturing.
For more information, or if you have any questions, reach out to us at https://www.reddyice.com/contact.