Saturday, October 31, 2015


"Cambridge Ice Box" oil on panel, 12" x 16", 2015
This past spring while visiting Dorchester County's Historical Society in Cambridge, MD  this  vintage ice box in their museum really captured my imagination. It made me recall our summertime  trips to the local ice house in Catonsville, MD. An electric refrigerator  always stood in our kitchen but ice was not abundant in those days. Two metal ice cube trays did not yield enough ice for fishing trips or our homemade snowballs. Freezer compartments were downright tiny and storage of extra ice was unheard of.
The ice house I remember was on Mellor Avenue in my hometown. We'd back into the loading dock and the ice man would step down swinging his tongs one-handed as he plunked a large chunk of ice  into the rear compartment of our station wagon. My father had the job of attacking it with an ice pick making the ice more manageable for what ever event we had planned.

I've often wondered about real ice boxes and how many times per week ice had to be delivered to keep the food from spoiling. In those hot Baltimore row house kitchens I'm sure there was a lot of melting ice. I favor this model because it's white and seems so friendly. I've seen many wooden oak types in antique shops but they seem too formal for my taste in vintage appliances.