Ice harvesting on the Kennebec River, ca. 1900
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The Kennebec River provided ice for local residents' refrigeration needs before the advent of refrigerators. In addition, Maine exported about 1 million tons of ice yearly to southern cities in the last decades of the 19th century. In 1891 there were 42 ice houses operating on the Kennebec River. This image shows some of the ice cutting tools used to mark and score the ice.