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Hauling Ice: 1934

Hauling Ice: 1934

San Francisco. "1934 Federal truck, City Ice Delivery Co." A business that was melting away. 5x7 film negative by Christopher Helin. View full size.


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Job Security

My grandfather worked for an ice delivery company in St. Louis during the 1930's. The owner told his employees if he ever found out any of them bought an electric refrigerator they would be fired.

Brand-new Firestone tires

Still available—same tread and sidewall patterns. My '25 Cadillac has 'em, and it rides kind of like a truck, too. The Caddy rims are an inch taller than those on the truck, though the tires themselves are slightly smaller (7.00 vs. 8.25).

Electric Refrigerators

Actually, electrically operated refrigerators with tiny freezing compartments came out in the 1920s. Likely they would have been much more common in modern day kitchens had the Great Depression not come along to interfere with the nation's cash-flow situation. Follow that up with the Second World War, and the shift from producing consumer goods to the goods of War, and there you are ~ in the later 40s before they became common in most kitchens.

Same with dishwashers and garbage disposals. Those came out first marketed as "Electric Sinks."

Good-looking truck

That truck looks remarkably modern for 1934. It wouldn't look out of place in the 60's or 70's. The proportions are good, too - almost looks like it was "chopped" like a 50's hot rod.

What's an Icebox?

Even after "refrigerators-freezers" came out in the 1940s, that kitchen appliance was referred to as "the icebox" way into the 1960s and '70s. Bet there are still people who call it "the icebox."

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