The Frozen-Water Trade: Background information when reading The Kept

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The Kept

by James Scott

The Kept
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2014, 368 pages
    Jan 2015, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Suzanne Reeder

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Frozen-Water Trade

In The Kept, Elspeth works in the ice trade, which began in the early 1800s. Your chilled water, iced tea and sodas (or pop, if you prefer) owe a debt of thanks to this frozen-water trade, which involved the harvesting, transport and sale of natural ice. The industry had broad ramifications affecting the preservation of food, beverages, and the treatment of illness, now considered necessities for the way most of us live today.

In 1805 two young Bostonians named Frederic and William Tudor decided to embark upon a bold business venture: cutting Massachusetts ice and shipping the product more than 1,000 miles away to sell in tropical climates. (Until his death in 1864, at age 80, Frederic denied the reported story that his older brother, William, had been the first to suggest the idea.) Financially privileged sons of a lawyer who also had inherited wealth, the brothers had previously traveled outside the United States. Frederic, especially, had envisioned the potential demand and ...

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