.

.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

ICE AND POWER


Artistic detail of old brickwork on the historic H. W. Einhard Ice and Power Plant. Built in 1906 -- before refrigerators! Being an ice and power plant meant probably ice was stored in the facility. As far as "power,"  I imagine it was limited to essential commercial buildings as by 1925 only half of the homes in the U.S. had electrical power to light there lamps. Does anyone out there know how this plant functioned?

Very few folks today remember the delivery of ice to their homes for their ice box, which was an early form of refrigerators. 

I could tell a lot of history resided in this building but could not find any that related to the Einhard building online.

The photo above is from the front facade's upper story. Building is still standing and has new tenants in downtown Portland, Oregon.



15 comments:

  1. Wonderful brickwork and interesting mystery. Possibly a local historical society could (to make a pun) shed some light on the power part of the company. The header picture is wondertul; that weathered sign holds mystery for me too -- what tastes better?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I will have to follow up with some detective work for information on this building -- your suggestion of contacting the historical society is a good idea. The sign also has an unknown history except that I took the photo a few years ago in Kentucky. Thanks -- barbara

      Delete
  2. I enjoy seeing this type of architectural detail. New buildings just don't possess this type of character.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michelle -- So much beauty in old structures. Now you have just box stores with no detail. So many craft types persons are just not around anymore and also it seems that stores really don't care long as they sell their goods. "Box" stores are an apt name for new stores.Thanks -- barbara

      Delete
  3. I love everything I see in this old building. The middle of the name plate has been replaced. The gutter system from the flat roof behind the facade is visible here. Well done. I hope the new tenants are preservationists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joanne -- What an eye you have! I missed that. I reexamined the photo and yes it does seem to be a possible newer-old plate. A few things though are a mystery -- how would they get the D to match between the first plate and the second. And why is the date not corroded like the first and third plate? Old buildings have secrets. -- thanks -- barbara

      Delete
  4. What an interesting building. Yes, I remember my grandmother's house had an ice box with a little hose running out of the bottom to under the house where the melted ice would drain. No idea what kind of power the Oregon people were producing in the ice house!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bard -- You give a good description of your grandmother's ice box. I do know as probably you do also that folks buy them as antiques now and use them as conversation pieces storing odds and ends in them such as liquor or kitchen items. I guess we would call this recycling. -- thanks-- barbara

      Delete
  5. Ok, I'm not ancient, but I do remember my grandfather taking me to an icehouse in the cityon a nearby pond.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birdman -- I think ice was around for quite some time in icehouses. I think folks kept their ice boxes working in their households as the depression and then the WWII made folks have other things to think about besides new electric refrigerators. thanks -- barbara

      Delete
  6. We had ice delivered when I was a little girl. The iceman would come right in the unlocked back door and put the ice in the icebox. My mother left the money for him on the top of the icebox along with a shot of whiskey!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hattie -- was your mother Irish? I bet that iceman enjoyed his delivery to your house and if all the women on his route did the same as your mother -- he would be floating into his own home after his work day. Say this as I have an Irish background. -- thanks -- barbara

      Delete
    2. Well, I'm half Irish, and my mother was greatly influenced by her father, who was of Irish descent. The drink caught up with her in later years, I am sorry to say.

      Delete
  7. It's a lovely building & you caught the angles well. I think I only remember the metal milk box on our front porch back when milk was delivered in glass bottles. Good question: I enjoyed Hattie's story! There was a big ice trade in Maine. http://www.mainememory.net/sitebuilder/site/773/page/1182/display
    Also a nice children's book about it: Cocoa Ice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rita -- Found your link to the Maine History Online informative about the ice industry in your state.. In the article it was mentioned that ice became a mechanizing process. Perhaps this method of producing ice was used within the Einhard building? -- thanks for the info -- barbara

      Delete