ice, ice, baby
October 15, 2010 Leave a comment
I love this first paragraph of a section on the invention of commercial refrigeration:
In the summer of 1844, the Wenham Lake Ice Company — named for a lake in Massachusetts — took premises in the Strand in London, and there each day placed a fresh block of ice in the window. No one in England had ever seen a block of ice that big before — certainly not in summer, not in the middle of London — or one that was so wondrously glassy and clear. You could actually read through it: a newspaper was regularly propped behind the block so that passersby could see this amazing fact for themselves. The shop window became a sensation and was regularly crowded with gawkers.
Bill Bryson, At Home: A Short History of Private Life