Money on ice

I heard about the ice trade a while back and always meant to look into it.

In the Victorian era, though the fridge had not yet been invented, there was still a great demand for ice. It was used to preserve goods, cool drinks, and yes, make ice cream.

So entrepreneurs sprang into action. These companies would harvest ice from frozen lakes, glaciers, etc. and ship it to large metropolitan cities where it would stored and sold.

It's amazing to think that something as efemeral as an ice cube was worth enough to warrant cutting it from a lake, loading it onto a ship, and transporting it hundreds if not thousands of miles (e.g. across the Atlantic).

Here's a description of the Norway/London ice trade (with pictures!). I've also put The Frozen Water Trade on my reading list.