1921 Advice About Ice Quality

ice cubes in glassConsiderations when determining ice quality have changed across the years. Here is what it said in a 1921 home economics textbook:

Ice is frozen water, and is just as pure as the water from which it was made. Ice from a pond should never be dissolved in drinking water or other beverages. Artificial ice is made by freezing water in tanks, the freezing temperature being secured by the evaporation of ammonia. This ice should be much purer than ice from ponds, lakes and rivers.Ā 

Elementary Home Economics (1921) by Mary Lockwood Matthews

28 thoughts on “1921 Advice About Ice Quality

  1. At work we had ice machines but they were NOT for human consumption . They used water that had contaminants… they did finally install an ice machine that used filtered reverse osmosis water. Funny that the clean water ice machine hardly ever needed repair and never had leaks like the others… The quality of the water is the most important thing!!!

          1. Yeah. I saw a five year old Amish kid using a nail gun once, and I realized that if I had been allowed to use a nail gun when I was five I would definitely have signed up to wear homemade underwear and drive buggies for the rest of my life.

  2. This is espec. interesting because it was written at a time when ice blocks were used, i.e., before ice cubes were invented. We take ice cubes for granted these days.

    1. I find it absolutely facinating how ice blocks (probably from natural sources) were used in the past. By today’s standards it doesn’t sound very safe.

  3. Funny. That’s the same advice being given to Texans today. So many water systems are down there are boil water advisories all over the state, and they include, “DO NOT use ice from your ice maker. It could be filled with bacteria.” Pond water from a hundred years ago would be safer.

      1. Nearly everyone has power now, and my water pressure is back up. We’ll probably be boiling water for 2-3 more days, but some places are already lifting restrictions.

  4. I love this Sheryl! I have heard my grandparents talk about the Ice Man coming through and read many stories of families risking their lives to cut ice blocks out of frozen lakes in the winter for the summer months ahead.

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