Ice Harvesting

The ice harvest on Hamilton Harbour was considered by some to be the first harvest of the year. During the winter months the ice companies had to lay up enough ice to get the city residents through the sweltering summer months.
The ice harvest on Hamilton Harbour was considered by some to be the first harvest of the year. During the winter months the ice companies had to lay up enough ice to get the city residents through the sweltering summer months.

Ice harvesters cut out the first blocks as best they can to make an open space. With the removal of each block a longer channel opens. Horses are brought in and the big ice blocks are towed shoreward along these open channels.
Ice harvesters cut out the first blocks as best they can to make an open space. With the removal of each block a longer channel opens. Horses are brought in and the big ice blocks are towed shoreward along these open channels.

The great ice sheds along the bayfront were filled to capacity during this harvest and you could see sleighs loaded with blocks of ice moving up the streets constantly.
The great ice sheds along the bayfront were filled to capacity during this harvest and you could see sleighs loaded with blocks of ice moving up the streets constantly.

One ice firm in the 1920's prided itself on cutting 4 tons of ice per minute for a total of 2,000 tons of ice daily.
One ice firm in the 1920's prided itself on cutting 4 tons of ice per minute for a total of 2,000 tons of ice daily.
With the increasing popularity of electric refrigeration, as well as the growing pollution of the bay's waters, the picturesque job of ice harvesting gradually faded away.

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