In Britain Ice Is Often Dispensed “as if It Were on Prescription”

(p. 73) In England, Wenham ice was more talked about than used. A few businesses took regular deliveries, but hardly any households (other than the royal one) did. By the 1850s not only was most ice sold in Britain not from Wenham, it wasn’t from America at all. The Norwegians – not a people one normally associates with sharp practices – changed the name of Lake Oppegaard, near Oslo, to Lake Wenham so that they could tap into the lucrative market. By the 1850s most ice sold in Britain was in fact Norwegian, though it has to be said that ice never really caught on with the British. Even now, it is still often dispensed there as if it were on prescription. The real market, it turned out, was in America itself.

Bryson, Bill. At Home: A Short History of Private Life. New York: Doubleday, 2010.

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