Thursday, June 18, 2009

Welcome to the family!

As of this week, The Mark Twain House & Museum welcomes an icebox into the collections family! The icebox, circa 1890, has gone through rigorous and difficult tests in order to become a Mark Twain House & Museum collections piece.

Ice would have been delivered to houses in the 19th century by an iceman, and from the research we've done over the years, it looks as though the Clemenses bought a substantial amount of ice for the house. "The Clemens household used large quantities of ice. During the first five months of 1873, prior to the construction of their own house, Sam and Livy purchased 5750 lbs. of ice from the Hartford Ice Company (located on Pearl Street). An October 1880 invoice from the W.H. Ice and Pressed Brick Co. (also on Pearl Street) indicates that between April and October the family used, on average, 100 lbs. of ice every 2 to 4 days. Although some of this ice could have been used for drinks and to make desserts such as ice cream, the majority would have been used for refrigeration… In all likelihood there were several refrigerators in the Clemens house."

Tours of the servants' wing of the house are given daily, so if you'd like to come see our new icebox come on by and join the next tour! For the daily tour schedule, please call the front desk at 860-280-3129 the day of your visit.

See the icebox in action! Being unloaded when it was delivered.


Cold! If the thermometer had been an inch longer we'd all have frozen to death." -Mark Twain

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