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RyanAK
Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/22/2020 :  11:49:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My other threads sorta take a stream of consciousness, meandering path as we chat about various early railroad and industry topics... so I thought I'd start a few threads to explore various early industries that can be incorporated in our modeling. Though my own interest is in small, operationally and historically interesting layout designs, these all could be included in a larger early-era layout. I'll just be working through these as one-industry layouts or standalone modules.

This topic will serve for discussion on ice production, storage, transportation and use. Prototype information and photos are especially appreciated... as well as thoughts on how to model this industry in an accurate and prototypical way.

R

Country: USA | Posts: 302

Dutchman
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 01/22/2020 :  12:43:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Factoid: In the late 1800's, the Natural Ice Industry was one of the "Top 10" industries in the US according to the US Gov't. (I assume factors such as employment numbers, gross sales, volume of production, etc. were used to establish this.)

There are a few good references out there on the topic, and this one is both good and readily available.





Bruce

Country: USA | Posts: 32013 Go to Top of Page

Bernd
Fireman



Posted - 01/22/2020 :  2:21:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
IIRC back in one of the model magazines (MR or RMC), many years ago of course, there was an article on an icehouse. Can't remember if it was just a drawing or a scratch build project. Any body with an index that might be able to find the year and month?

Bernd



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Dutchman
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 01/22/2020 :  4:33:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bernd,

The plans were in the August 1992 RMC, and represented the smaller 'standard ice house' of the New York, Ontario & Western. I built it as part of the first group challenge that we ever had on the Forum back in 2003, I think.

I was heavy on the nail holes back then.



Ice houses came in two categories. Those that were used by the ice harvesters and were usually on the shores of lakes and rivers, and those that were used by end-users. Creameries, meat packers, breweries, and the railroads themselves. Those in the first category were much larger than those in the second category, as would be expected.

I have pictures of a few dozen ice houses taken on model railroads that I've visited. All have fallen into the second category.



Bruce

Country: USA | Posts: 32013 Go to Top of Page

RyanAK
Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/22/2020 :  5:03:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Neat info guys. And that’s a handsome structure, Bruce. I’m working on some more in-depth info to post, but thought I’d mention the kind of traffic even a modest ice house would generate:

Inbound
Ice shipments from a BIG ice house in reefers or boxcars as needed depending on local demand. (Local industry like creameries, produce houses, etc. as well as retail sales for home use). Unless the ice is harvested locally, the ice needs to come from somewhere else. I think this often gets overlooked.
Sawdust - for insulation in storage and transport. Occasional depending on the size of the ice house, time of year, and local use.

Outbound
Whatever needs icing - perishable shipments such as dairy, meat, produce. Local as well as through-freight passing through that may need re-iced.

That’s pretty good traffic generated for a structure that only takes a few square inches, looks great, and is iconic. Want to run some neat cars and add operational interest? Add a 2”x3” ice house.



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Dutchman
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 01/22/2020 :  5:11:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is a picture of a large ice house (100,000 tons) on the Kennebec River in Maine. The Kennebec was a reliable source of ice, freezing over in 'open winters' when the lakes and ponds in Mass. and below would not freeze to a sufficient depth (like this year).





Bruce

Country: USA | Posts: 32013 Go to Top of Page

Mark B
Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/22/2020 :  5:15:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mark B's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I just ordered the book. Apparently ice was shipped from Mass. to destinations as far away as Calcutta. A lot of it went to the Caribbean
areas, Cuba, New Orleans. I have a large ice house on my layout that services the local brewery and perishable trade. It also sells ice locally with it's route trucks.
Lake Superior Ice Co.
"Not a bug in a block"

Looks like a fun topic.
Mark B.



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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/22/2020 :  5:42:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ice distributors often also did (a) lumber; (b) coal or (c) furniture deliveries. So you can combine an ice house with other businesses. I built the old FSM "Jacob's Fuel" and added a small ice house (as well as some lumber stacks.) Here's the mostly completed kit, waiting for me to get around to where it's going on the layout.


dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Edited by - deemery on 01/22/2020 8:21:12 PM

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Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 01/22/2020 :  9:11:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Published in 1893, the book “Buildings and Structures of American Railroads” by Walter Berg has drawings of ice houses with capacity of 50 tons (14’ by 14’) to 1,600 tons, many on the Lehigh Valley RR.

Mike



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Tintic Range
New Hire

Posted - 01/23/2020 :  3:43:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ogden Utah, being the famous Junction City of the West, was home to a massive ice industry controlled by the railroads. What today is known as the "21st Street Ponds" on the north end of the city were excavated to divert water from the Ogden and Weber Rivers specifically for the production of natural ice during the winter.

Elsewhere in the Rocky Mountains, Ice was harvested from high-altitude lakes and reservoirs and shipped down to the valleys where it was needed. George Edward Anderson visited an ice harvesting camp on the Scofield Reservoir on the Pleasant Valley Branch of the Rio Grande Western and photographed the harvesters loading, of all things, stock cars with the ice blocks. Hopefully those cars were cleaned out beforehand!







In modeling applications, even if your layout does not depict winter operations, if the tracks pass reasonably near a body of water it would be a good idea to at least place a spur with a small loading dock or shed for the ice cutting tools. Or, if you model a terminal or junction point where reefers are expected to be exchanged, depicting some portion of artificial icing ponds would be appropriate.



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Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 01/23/2020 :  6:05:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Stock cars were often used during the off season for other purposes. Otherwise they represented a big investment just sitting somewhere. Yes, they were hopefully cleaned out well.

Mike



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Dutchman
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 01/26/2020 :  8:51:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sometimes you get the best idea of the size of a structure if you remove the walls to see inside.

Those tracks in the foreground are from the Lackawanna RR.







Bruce

Country: USA | Posts: 32013 Go to Top of Page

RyanAK
Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/28/2020 :  10:08:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great information. And several more books to add to the "must have" list. The photographs are particularly fascinating.

Looking around on the interwebs, it seems like a lot of modelers include a small ice house somewhere on their layout. Fewer include a larger icing platform for reefers. And I don't know that I've seen anyone model a full-blown monster ice house.

I think a small 50-100 ton house can add a lot of operations to even a modest layout if done correctly. I think a lot of guys would probably overlook the occasional re-stocking of ice and sawdust, which would make a neat scene and add something new to operating the layout.



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Dutchman
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 01/28/2020 :  5:41:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RyanAK


Looking around on the interwebs, it seems like a lot of modelers include a small ice house somewhere on their layout. Fewer include a larger icing platform for reefers. And I don't know that I've seen anyone model a full-blown monster ice house.



You're right, Ryan. Here are three photos from my layout visits (all HO scale) that show small ice houses. They all are adjacent to creameries.

Andy Clermont's layout.




Harold Werthwein's Layout.




Lou Sassi's old layout.




I have quite a few more pictures of ice houses - all small, and most near creameries.


Bruce

Country: USA | Posts: 32013 Go to Top of Page

RyanAK
Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/29/2020 :  07:48:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great examples, Bruce. Now that I think about it, I don't know that I've seen an ice house that wasn't next to a creamery. They do seem to go hand-in-hand, but I don't think they need to. Mike mentions the book “Buildings and Structures of American Railroads” by Walter Berg above. I might need to search that out and have a look. What would be more simple to scratch build than a neat little ice house?


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Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 01/29/2020 :  09:04:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RyanAK

Great examples, Bruce. Now that I think about it, I don't know that I've seen an ice house that wasn't next to a creamery. They do seem to go hand-in-hand, but I don't think they need to. Mike mentions the book “Buildings and Structures of American Railroads” by Walter Berg above. I might need to search that out and have a look. What would be more simple to scratch build than a neat little ice house?


I found the book on the internet free for download. It’s an interesting sort of book in a geeky way.

Mike



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