Sisters cooking together made the work more fun…particularly with their loved-ones waiting for the results of their cooking! Note: Linoleum floor, packaged flour, low kitchen table being used as a work table. Like
A journey to Ohio in 1810: as recorded in the journal of Margaret Van Horn
East of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
“At last we stopt at Mansfield at an Inn kept by Philip fits ( a little f). We found it kept by 2 young women, whom I thought amazoons– for they swore & flew about “like witches” they talk & laugh’d about their sparks &c &c till it made us laugh so as almost to affront them– There was a young woman visiting them who reminded me of Lady Ki Spanker–for spring from the ground to her horse with as much agility as that Lady could have done– They all took their pipes before tea…Their manners soften’d down after a while & the appear to be obliging & good natur’d…”
West of Fannettsburg, Pennsylvania:
“…about 60 rods near the top [of the mountain] was excessively steep– We found a house at the foot of the steepest part–A woman & her 2 sons live there & keep cakes & beer…”
“Saturday morn…We have nothing to eat & can get nothing but some slapjacks at a baker’s some distance off, & so stormy we cannot get there…”
“I have learn’d…to eat raw pork & drink whisky…”
“I have such an enormous appetite the whole time, that I have been in some fear of starving…”
Between Laurel Hill and Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
“The landlord & his wife…gave us a great many apples & some cherry bounce…”
[Bold text is not in original]
Map shows modern approximation (google directions via walking) of 1810 journey:
Ice boxes were available in the 1860s but it was the traditional root cellars, ice houses, and winter storage that stayed the most popular forms of refrigeration in the US until the 1880s. (Ice houses were introduced to the UK, probably from Italy, circa 1660.) In 1900 the average family purchased 2.5 tons of ice per year for the ice box at 30 cents/100 pounds. The price doubled to 60 cents/100 pounds in the same year after “The Ice King” Charles W. Morse, American Ice Company, established a monopoly in ice.
Blocks of ice were often kept in sawdust while being delivered by the iceman, and the frugal housekeeper wrapped the ice block in newspaper to prolong its life.
6.25 gallons of water make a 50 pound block of ice.
Visit Knowlton Ice Museum in Port Huron for more discoveries about the ice industry, and Rentschler Farm Museum in Saline, Michigan and Caroga Museum in Caroga, New York for examples of family-farm ice houses. Here is a list of estates in England with ice houses that may be open to the public:
The term “refrigerator” was coined by a Maryland engineer, Thomas Moore, in 1800. Moore’s device would now be called an “ice box” — a cedar tub, insulated with rabbit fur, filled with ice, surrounding a sheet metal container. Moore designed it as as a means for transporting butter from rural Maryland to Washington, DC. Its operating principle was the latent heat of fusion associated with melting ice. Like
 Memories of Morse 1904-1979, “Charles Wyman Morse” by John Paul Heffernan, Brunswick Publishing Co., Brunswick, Maine.  Refrigerators, by Glenn Elert.