“The Ice King”

Reid Mitenbuler profiles Frederic Tudor, the entrepreneurial genius who brought refrigeration to the masses:

Tudor’s most ambitious plan came in 1833, when he set out to deliver ice to Calcutta, a voyage of 14,000 miles that involved crossing the equator twice. Tudor and his investors wondered if the ice would even sell. But his extraordinary profits answered that question. Until that time, residents had been importing slush from the mountains for the few weeks during the year when it was available. The prospect of a steady supply of Tudor’s clear, solid blocks prompted English residents in the city to throw parties serving claret and beer chilled with his New England ice. The India Gazette thanked him for making “this luxury accessible, by its abundance and cheapness.”