The Knickerbocker Ice Company

In the mid-1800s, before gas and electric powered refrigerators, natural ice was cut from rivers and ponds and shipped into New York City to preserve food and cool drinks in homes, restaurants and for use in other commercial purposes. In the 1880s, 1.5 million tons of ice were sold in NYC from distribution ice houses across the City. Knickerbocker Ice Company dominated the New York market. One of their several ice houses was in Red Hook at the foot of Smith Street where ice could come in by barge.

One of the important uses of ice was in the manufacture of ice cream which was served in "ice cream saloons."

For more on the ice industry in Brooklyn see:



Item Relations

Item: Ice Cream: A late 19th century Red Hook waterstory is related to This Item



  • Lain and Company, Lain's Brooklyn Directory for the year ending May 1, 1889, Published 1889 downloaded 5/6/2016

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