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The Iceman Cameth, Remembering The Icebox

The almost mythical iceman was a familiar neighborhood figure during the early part of this century. On hot summer days, as his horse drawn wagon came dripping down the street, he was trailed by children who knew him by name and were often treated to sliver of ice. Sporting a rubber apron aglisten with ice crystals, the iceman stopped at house after house, where cards or slates in the windows told him how much to deliver.

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This muscular man carried ice into each home with tongs, and if someone ordered a heavy block - say, 75 or 100 lbs.- he slung it over his back. Sometimes a block was so big that its sides had to be chipped off so that it would fit inside the tin-lined icebox. The electric refrigerator, introduced in 1916, eventually put the iceman out of business. But his spirit lives on in the memory of all those who still fondly refer to their refrigerators as "the icebox".

By Joesgirl

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