Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Window Ice Box a Money-Saver

You may not remember the days before the refrigerator and the ice box, when we used a window ice box. This was a time most households used a window icebox to store foods.
The window ice box was an ingenious device to preserve perishables in a galvanized tin box, fixed in or near the kitchen window. It was fixed outside the window, soyou could open the window and then the door of the box, to put food items in or out as needed. It  cost nothing to operate.

We had one at our house in Philly, and it was standard equipment in most houses. The cold weather, maintained by Mother Nature, preserved meats and other perishables, leftover foods, milk and butter and anything that might spoil at room temperature.
Of course, it was only usable during winter months and collected snow and ice around it, provided by the winter weather at no additional expense to the family.
In those days, I was delegated the job of paying our three or four dollar a month electric bills, by walking to the local Philadelphia Electric Company office several blocks from where we lived. This was a far cry from the bills we get from PECO today.
As the weather got warmer, the box was cleaned out and made ready for next year, until the refrigerator was invented and became the popular preserver of perishables.


At October 17, 2015 at 11:11 AM , Blogger Kristin said...

I noticed a box in the window in a photo of my grandmother from the 1930s. I think this must be what it was. I love your picture.


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