BOOK REVIEW

  THE FROZEN-WATER TRADE - GAVIN WEIGHTMAN

This is the true story of Frederic Tudor and his quest to make a fortune from selling ice.  Frederic Tudor was a college dropout who came from a well-to-do family in Massachusetts.  The main problem he had was how to deliver the ice to places where the weather was warm without it melting.  It took a long time but he finally realized he could use sawdust to cover the ice and it would reach places like Calcutta, India with most of it still not melted.  Frederic's friend, Nathaniel Wyeth, came up with the idea of a horse drawn ice plough that cut out blocks that were a foot thick.  This made it a little easier to manage.   The British even waived several regulations so purchasers could get the ice home before it melted even more. 

Tudor faced many stumbling blocks along the way.  He soon had rivalry from competitors entering the field and the only thing he could do was to cut the prices.  This was not successful for him.  Queen Victoria was one of his most important customers.  After some time, Norwegians came along with a less expensive product.  Artificial refrigeration was invented in 1882.  However, by this time, Frederic Tudor had died and at the time of his death he was very wealthy.

This book gives us an excellent description of how ice was transported to other countries.  It is a great account of what one man's imagination can do.  This is a part of history that we don't often hear about but after reading this book you realize that the frozen ice trade played a major role in America's history.  The book is well written and the author does an excellent job of explaining this trade to us and how Frederic Tudor's enterprise became such a big part of the "American Way of Life" enabling us to have iced drinks and homemade ice cream. 

NANCY EATON

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR, NANCY EATON

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