A Cool Invention: Everything You Never Knew About Ice
Nothing goes better with the dog days of summer than an ice cold glass of lemonade. From children's corner stands to baseball games, lemonade is a symbol of American refreshment in the summertime. But the unsung hero of this delicious treat can't be found in the ingredients. It's in the ice. Nobody wants a luke warm glass of lemonade. This, at least, was the driving force behind the invention of the ice industry.
It all started in the early 1800's when to Massachusetts brothers, Fredrick and William Tudor were lamenting over the possibility of delivering the rare luxury of ice to the not so lucky settlers of the Caribbean. Although ice and ice cream were not mass produced at the time, Fredrick believed that if people only had the opportunity to have cold drinks, they would certainly prefer them to warm ones, especially in hot climates like the newly settled Caribbean.
Soon Fredrick was in business harvesting and shipping ice across continents on a quest to deliver cold refreshment to the masses. At first just about everyone was indifferent to Tudor's ice campaign. Accustomed to drinking their beverages at room temperature they didn't see the benefit to chilling them with ice. However, Fredrick was persistent, challenging bar owners and restaurants to offer the ice cold versions alongside the usual beverages.
After years of rigorously marketing his revolution, ice caught on. By the mid 1800's everyone within a stones throw of a pond got in on the action. In the late 1860's ice was big business all over North American and had even spread to Cuba, the Caribbean, and reopened the trade routes between Boston and India.
But with the addition of ice to the menu a new problem arose. How did restaurants and bars keep all the ice they needed on hand from melting? The invention of harvested ice gave way to a whole new technology in and the ice box was created. At the turn of the century nearly every restaurant, bar, and home in the United States had their own ice box.
Today ice is as big as ever. And restaurants need to keep up with the demands of chilled, clean, and refreshing beverages. Nearly every restaurant today has a Commercial ice machine on location to keep up with the volume of ice needed to better serve their patrons.
Ice machines come in all shapes and sizes. In 1950 Scotsman Industries invented a Scotsman ice machine which they claimed revolutionized the industry. It introduced a crystal clear ice cube free of all minerals which had clouded ice cubes until then. Consumers responded and began demanding clean and clear ice in their drinks. The rest of the industry was forced to respond.
Today there are a number of standards on the ice machine industry. Not only do ice machine manufacturers need to meet standards in both the United States and Europe for eliminating harmful materials, but they are increasingly becoming conscious about their environmental impact as well. The makers of Hoshizaki ice machines, Hoshizaki America boast on their website that they are the industry's conservational leader and committed to providing both better quality, cleaner and environmentally friendly products.
One thing is for certain, ice machine manufacturers are working hard to deliver on the same principles that started the whole ice revolution over two centuries ago. So, the next time you're sitting by the pool on a hot summer's day, enjoying a cold glass of lemonade, raise your icy glass to Fredrick Tudor and his vision of sharing refreshment with the world.