Also shown is a drawing of an ice-box with a compartment at the top for the ice. As the ice melted, the water ran down a tube to a pan on the floor which was always running over. If you lived in a “modern” house, the tube ran into the basement to a sewer drain. The name on this ice-box “ZERO REFRIGERATOR” had to refer to the centigrade scale because the temperature in the box never got below 32° Fahrenheit.
The Main Ice Company in Town Was the Diamond Ice Co.
The Advocate in its Tercentenary Edition, 1941, writes:
“S. Grosvenor Fessenden and Henry Provost founded the Diamond Ice Co., located at 30 Main St., in 1897, Mr. Fessenden being a foreman at the Yale and Towne and Mr. Provost in the livery business at the time of forming the partnership. Cutting ice from the mill pond of the Rippowam River, they used 18 or 20 teams in their delivery service. One of the first artificial ice plants in the State was installed by Diamond Ice in 1897, and after 1916 artificial ice was made and sold exclusively. The ice-making capacity and storage space was increased in 1927. Present officers are S. G. Fessenden, president; J. B. Brennan, vice-president; A, J. Donahue, secretary; W. L. Shea, treasurer.”
We found the last listing in city directory of 1944, thereafter, the company shows up as FAIRCO ICE (Fairfield County Ice Co.) Both are listed and advertised as located at “Main St. at the Bridge.”
Diamond Ice Co. employees are lined up in front of the company building next to the delivery trucks.
Note: According to our automotive consultant, Kit Foster, the photo dates to 1930 the earliest. The first, second and fifth trucks in line are either 1928 or 1929 Model AA Fords and the fourth from left is a 1930 Chevrolet. The trucks with artillery wheels are older.
The only document the Society has is an invoice of 1916 for the “Hygienic Ice.”
Finally, there are two unfortunately very poor photos of ice harvesting in North Stamford. Date and people are unknown.
Postscript October 2005: The Diamond Ice Company in the Flood of '55.
Photos© Stamford Historical Society