Major Impacts

The ice trade did much more than simply make Frederic Tudor a rich man. It formed the basis for an entire industry, and although we think of it as a relic of the past today, its impact on our lifestyle is immeasurable (not to mention that the ice industry still makes about $2.5 billion annually). Before the widespread use of ice, fresh produce and meat were only available immediately after harvest or butchering. There was no storage without preservation, and there was certainly no long distance shipping that would allow foreign staples to become part of the domestic palate.

Tudor created the now-ubiquitous shipping “cold chain” when he he packed his ships with new england apples, butter, cheese, salmon, and lobster. his methods enabled chicago’s meat packing industry to flourish, and improved the lives of people the world over by making fresh food a reality year-round. while we no longer depend on ice boxes to store our food, we can still trace the foundations laid by his work in the refrigerated shipping system that makes the modern model of consumption possible. for that, let’s raise a cool glass of water to the ice king.


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