Food - Drink
How America's Love Affair With Ice Began
BY MOLLY HARRIS
In 1806, Frederic Tudor became one of the first American millionaires when he set out to begin selling ice worldwide. He convinced people to use ice to cool their drinks, rather than solely to keep food and medicines from spoiling, and while ice became a fad among the wealthiest Brits, it wouldn't become popular in America for a few decades.
Ice fell out of favor with the British because it became too expensive, but North America was a premier location for ice harvesting, and ice soon became affordable and available for Americans year-round. Americans' love of cold drinks and cocktails rose up, and the ice industry shifted from harvesting ice from frozen ponds to manufacturing it.
The first ice machine was invented in 1845 by Dr. John Gorrie in Mississippi, but the concept did take off until 1867, when the machine was revised by Andrew Mulh. Even then, ice makers for the home were not widespread until the 1920s, but once they hit the market, there was no turning back for Americans and their love of cold drinks.