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As American as free hotel ice

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 14, 2016

For the New Yorker, Heidi Julavits wrote about the easy access to ice being a particularly American trait.

As a kid, I took summer road trips with grandparents, and ice machines proved key to our modern pioneer-style vacations, wagon-bumping from one national park to another. We stored drinks and food in a giant cooler that, each morning, needed to be filled with new ice that would gradually melt during the day, until we reached our final destination.

Yes, this. I drove all over the US with my dad and sister in the summers when I was a kid and we rarely ate out (couldn’t afford it)…a big cooler full of daily replenished ice preserved our stores of food for the whole trip.

Anyway, for more info on refrigeration and how it changed America, see also the chapter on refrigeration in Steven Johnson’s How We Got to Now and Nicola Twilley’s posts on the artificial cryosphere.