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The New Student's Reference Work/Ice Harvesting


NSRW Ice Harvesting - scraper.jpg
From Brown Bros.
ICE HARVESTING. The snow is first cleared by means of scrapers very much like the scrapers used in building roads or making excavations for the foundations of buildings. It takes two people to do this, one to lead the horse, the other to hold the scraper to its work.
NSRW Ice Harvesting - ice plow.jpg
From Brown Bros.
After the snow has been cleared away deep parallel grooves are cut in the ice with what is called an “ice plow.” These ice plows are sometimes driven by steam but horses are usually used as you see in the picture. With this plow grooves are cut in the ice in both directions so that the ice is divided into blocks about three feet square. Unless the ice is very thick the plow cuts very nearly through.
NSRW Ice Harvesting - sawing.jpg
From Brown Bros.
After the ice has been cut nearly through with the plow the rest of the work is done with a saw, one end of which runs down into the water. After the ice cakes are sawed out by one set of men another set pry them apart with crowbars, while a third set floats them down channels, made for the purpose, toward the ice house.

NSRW Ice Harvesting - ice elevator.jpg
From Brown Bros.
This picture gives a rear view of the ice elevator which you see at the side of the ice house in the first picture. The cakes of ice are floated to the foot of this elevator and carried up into the ice house by an endless chain arrangement similar to the device that carries away the straw and chaff from a threshing machine. At intervals on this chain, which runs over sprocket wheels at the other end, are cleats. The distance between these cleats is a little over the width of a cake of ice. The men at the foot of the elevator push a cake into each section as it comes along. The ice is carried by the elevator up into the warehouse, where it is packed in sawdust.
NSRW Ice Harvesting - tools.jpg
From Brown Bros.
This picture shows the various tools used by ice harvesters and the men who deliver ice at your door. Here you see various forms of ice tongs, ice shavers, files and stones for sharpening the tools, ice axes and ice scales. Besides these there are augers for drawing off surface waters, forked bars for prying the cakes loose, trimming bars for squaring them, and chisels, adzes and edging tongs used in packing the ice in the warehouse.