Old House Mysteries Solved: What Those Weird Little Doors Really Do!


Old House Mysteries Solved: What Those Weird Little Doors Really Do!

Old House Mysteries Solved: What Those Weird Little Doors Really Do!

A lot of people had trouble keeping food cold and fresh before electric refrigerators became universal. Because of this need, someone came up with the creative idea of delivering ice, which became an important service for families from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. An important part of this service was the use of ice delivery doors, which were cleverly built into homes to make it easy for ice blocks to be delivered directly.

Ice delivery doors were usually small, insulated doors on the outside of a house that led straight into the kitchen or an area set aside for the icebox. These doors let ice delivery people, who are often called “icemen,” put blocks of ice straight into a home’s icebox without going inside. This system not only kept the ice from melting too quickly, but it also kept the family’s privacy and safety.

The ice came from lakes and ponds and was collected in the winter. It was then kept frozen until the warmer months in big ice houses lined with sawdust. With the invention of ice delivery doors, families can now store perishable foods like meat, dairy, and vegetables for longer periods of time. This service came before modern refrigeration and was very important for public health because it lowered the risk of getting sick from food.

The way ice delivery doors are made and how they work show how creative people were back then when it came to solving everyday problems. They were carefully made to keep air from moving through them. They had thick insulation and sometimes even double-door systems to keep the cold air inside.

Around the middle of the 20th century, electric refrigerators became more common and cheaper, which meant that ice delivery services and, by extension, ice delivery doors became less important. Sometimes you can find one of these doors, and it’s interesting to see how things were in the past. Some homeowners choose to keep them or fix them up as historical artifacts, while others may use them for something more modern, like package delivery.

The history of ice delivery doors takes us back to a time when people relied on a network of services that needed to be used in person. These small architectural details reveal how technology has changed over time, how people’s lifestyles have changed, and how they have come up with new ways to meet their needs.


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