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Ice Industry

The gradual introduction of home refrigerators powered by electricity eliminated the need for ice delivery to most Nebraska homes. The Nebraska State Journal of April 22, 1926, commented briefly on the ongoing change:

"'How soon is electrical refrigeration going to put you out of business?' a nosey householder asked of the ice man the other morning.

"'If it keeps on it won't be many years,' the burden bearer grinned. 'Surprise you to know how many of our old customers we pass by since they put in their own cold boxes. Somebody stops our service almost every day. If the people haven't left town we know what has done it. They are getting their ice over a wire.'

"Still, it isn't so bad from the ice man's standpoint. Inquiry of the distributors shows that only about 300 of one make of the ice machines are now installed in Lincoln. There are four kinds of electrically operated ice boxes on the market. For several months they have been installing them only about as fast as new houses are built. This means that they merely check the growth of the old ice consumption.

"The chief decrease in consumption is in the soda fountains and other places where large quantities are needed. The ice machine people say that only two drug stores in Lincoln are now cooled in the old fashioned way. The ice cream manufacturers install cabinets in the soda fountains and store their cream where it is kept at an even temperature against any demand that may arise. Under this system no fountain is ever likely to run out of ice cream, which is the basis of its business."

(August 1997)



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