Cutting ice in Potsdam

Before the invention of modern refrigeration, ice was stored in warehouses along the Raquette River for use through the year. This crew from Cornell & Son watched for the weather conditions to be just right, toward the end of January, when the ice would snap and crack with a loud boom. Then, working night and day, the crew marked and cut the ice into grids, sawing and barring off sections. Blocks of ice were then “canalled” to the icehouse on Water Street, where they would be stored in sawdust. Circa 1880. Potsdam, NY.

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