Ice cutting was a winter occupation of icemen whose task it was to collect surface ice from lakes and rivers for storage in ice houses and sale as a pre-refrigeration cooling method. Kept insulated, the ice was preserved for all-year delivery to residential and commercial customers with ice boxes for cold food storage.
Ice harvesting generally involved waiting until approximately a foot of ice had built up on the water surface in the winter. The ice would then be cut with either a handsaw or a powered saw blade into long continuous strips and then cut into large individual blocks for transport by wagon back to the icehouse. A large operation would have a crew of 75 and cut 1500 tons daily.
Ice cutting is still in use today for ice and snow sculpture events. A swing saw is used to get ice out of a river for the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival each year. A swing saw is also used to cut ice out from the frozen surface of the Songhua River. Many Ice sculptures are made from the ice.
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- KK.org Amish Homebuilt gas powered ice cutter to make ice for non-electric icebox
- blueflower.tripod.com Homebuilt gas powered ice cutter
- HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL MARKER DATABASE, Ice Harvesting
- winnipeg.ctv.ca Modern ice cutter in Manitoba.
- pudsandlosers.blogspot.com, Ice Palace 2 - Cutting Ice, Saturday, January 31, 2009