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1833 - Fanny Parks, Resident of Calcutta
Ice from Boston to Calcutta

 

One of the most striking instances of the enterprise of the merchants of the present age, is the importation of a cargo of ice into India from the distant shores of America ; and it is to be hoped, that the experiment having so far succeeded, it will receive sufficient encouragement here to ensure the Community r in future a constant supply of the luxury. The speculators are Messrs. Tudor, Rogers, and Austin, the first of whom has been engaged for fifteen or twenty years in furnishing supplies of ice to the southern parts of America and the West Indian Islands.
   The following particulars will furnish an idea of the plan pursued in this traffic, and of the cost incurred in it:
   The ice is cut from the surface of some ponds rented for the purpose in the neighbourhood of Boston, and being properly stowed, is then conveyed to an ice-house in the city, where it remains until transported on board the vessel which has to convey it to its destined market. It is always kept packed in non-conducting materials, such as tan, hay, and pine boards, and the vessel in which it is freighted has an ice-house built within, for the purpose of securing it from the effects of the atmosphere.    The expense to the speculators must be very considerable, when they have to meet the charges of rent for the ponds, wages for superintendents and labourers, and agents at the place of sale; erection of ice-houses, transportation of the article from the ponds to the city, thence to the vessel, freight, packing, and landing, and the delivery of the article at the ice-house which has been built for it in Calcutta.
   The present cargo has arrived without greater wastage than was at first calculatcd on, and the packing was so well managed to prevent its being affected by the atmosphere, that the temperature on board during the voyage was not perceptibly altered. This large importation of ice may probably give rise to experiments to ascertain in what way it may be applied to medicinal uses, as it has already elsewhere been resorted to for such purposes; but the chief interest the community generally will take in it, will be the addition it will make to domestic comfort.

 

Parks, Fanny
Wanderings of a Pilgrim in Search of the Picturesque During 24 Years in the East …
Vol. I, London 1850

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