ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 79

COLUMN REFRIGERATION APPLICATIONS
Andy Pearson

Part 2

The Frozen Water Trade
BY ANDY PEARSON, PH.D., C.ENG., FELLOW ASHRAE

In 1800 the global population was about 1 billion people and by 1900 it had grown to
1.6 billion. In North America the largest city throughout that time, New York City, rose
from 60,000 inhabitants to about 4 million. Over the same time London, England,
the largest city in the world throughout the 19th century, grew from 1 million to over
6.5 million. Such rapid growth over such a long period brought huge problems to all
cities, not least how to keep the population well fed, healthy and cool.

NORTH EAST LINCOLNSHIRE ARCHIVES AND GREAT GRIMSBY
ICE FACTORY TRUST.

Although mechanical refrigeration was first demonmechanical ice plant in the world was built in the
strated in 1834 (in London), it took almost 50 years for it
period 1899 to 1900 and then further extended in 1907.
to become a recognized industry. The earliest rudimenAt its peak in the 1950s the Great Grimsby Ice Factory
tary mechanical ice-making plants were being installed
produced about 1,200 tons of ice per day and served
commercially by the 1870s, and it was in
a huge fishing fleet with chunks of ice
of the original Pontifex and Wood
the 1880s that the refrigeration industry One
chewed from blocks in large crushers
compressors in Grimsby.
started to blossom. For most of the 19th
and fed by overhead conveyor to the
century when cooling was necessary
trawlers at the dockside.
to preserve food or provide comfort it
The original refrigeration system in the
came from ice that had been cut from
Grimsby factory comprised four ammofrozen lakes and rivers during northern
nia machines manufactured by Pontifex
winters and had then been shipped to
and Wood of Farringdon, London, with
the cities, sometimes thousands of miles
boilers providing steam to power the
away, and carefully stored for months to
compressors. This initial installation
preserve it until it was needed.
may have been completed by the English
The earliest known long-distance
refrigeration firm Haslam, who had
ice shipping venture was from Boston to Martinique
amalgamated with Pontifex and Wood in the 1890s but
in 1806, but it took the entrepreneur Frederic Tudor
the 1907 extension was entrusted to the British Linde
over 20 years for his venture to gain financial success.
Refrigeration Company under the leadership of Thomas
By then ice was being shipped from North America
Lightfoot. The Linde compressors were reckoned to be the
to Great Britain in huge quantities and the rest of the
most efficient of their type and factory output increased
developed world was wakening up to the possibilifrom 300 tons per day to 500 tons per day. Factories like
ties of trading in frozen water. By 1900, 1 million tons
Grimsby were the death-knell for the natural ice transof ice per year were being shipped from Norway to
portation business. Even efficient operators reckoned
England, much of it to serve the fishing trade along the they could lose up to 50% of the ice that they harvested
east coast ports. A combination of rising prices, poor
from the frozen rivers during storage and transport and it
ice harvests during warm winters and improvements
became too difficult to compete with the reliable low cost
in mechanical technology caused a rapid decline in
supplies that were manufactured on the spot.
the trade at the start of the 20th century. In the port
Andy Pearson, Ph.D., C.Eng., is group managing director at Star Refrigeration in Glasgow, UK.
of Grimsby, on the east coast of England, the largest
N O V E M B E R 2 0 19

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ASHRAE Journal - November 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASHRAE Journal - November 2019

Contents
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - Intro
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - Cover1
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - Cover2
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 1
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - Contents
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 3
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 4
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 5
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 6
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 7
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 8
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 9
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 10
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 11
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 12
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 13
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 14
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 15
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 16
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 17
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 18
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 19
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 20
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 21
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 22
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 23
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 24
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 25
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 26
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 27
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 28
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 29
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 30
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 31
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 32
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 33
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 34
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 35
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 36
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 37
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 38
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 39
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 40
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 41
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 42
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 43
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 44
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 45
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ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 47
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 48
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 49
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 50
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 51
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 52
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 53
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 54
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 55
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 56
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 57
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 58
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ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - Cover3
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - Cover4
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