Ice scraping, Bowdoinham, ca. 1895
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Teams of men and horses scraping ice off of the Kennebec River near Bowdoinham. Maine exported about 1 million tons of ice to southern U.S. cities during the last decade of the 19th century.
In 1891 there were 8,800 men working the ice in Maine and 3,000 horses. The horses and their owners received pay. Very few accidents were ever reported of teams or men being lost to drowning during these ice cutting operations.