Post by Frank Post by Dean Post by RichD
How did they make ice, in the days before electricity?
And, did the inventors manage it empirically, without
education in thermodynamic theory? I admit,
without book learning, the compression/condensation/
evaporation cycle would never occur to me, it’s
far from intuitive.
Ice was made by mother nature and chopped from the surfaces of frozen
lakes, ponds and rivers.
"During the winter, ice and snow would be taken into the ice house and
insulated against melting with straw or sawdust. It would stay frozen for
many months, even until the following winter."
Neighbor with pre-revolutionary house has one on his property.
They also made "slush ponds" to greatly improve the ice yield from a pond in
winter - draw water from the bottom of a pond and spray it into the air so
it falls back onto the surface of the pond. Would either freeze in the air
or form a wet layer on the surface of existing ice that would then freeze,
pushing the ice mass deeper into the pond until eventually the entire pond
was frozen. Otherwise as the surface of a pond freezes it protects the
underlying water from evaporative cooling and insulates it from the cold air
so you get much less ice from a given nighttime temperature.