Ice & Coal Companies

Ice and Coal TruckI was talking to a woman with the surname “Kunkel” which reminded me of a familiar company of my childhood, Kunkel Ice & Coal, which led to thinking about ice & coal companies in general.  There were a lot of them back in the days, but why the combination of ice and coal?  What common trait brought these two, very different commodities together in one company?

I could find nothing on the Internet about them despite their past popularity.  I think they were basically delivery companies who delivered ice in the summer and coal in the winter.  They arose in a time before refrigeration when people kept their food cool in ice boxes and needed a block of ice delivered about once a week.  I suspect in winter they just left items outside or made their own ice from a bucket of water and no longer needed ice delivered.  But that is when they needed coal for heat.  A company that delivered both had business all year around.

I posted a blog on the excitement of coal delivery on 12/13/2007, ‘Tis the Season—but not for Coal, and ice deliveries on 2/6/2006, Ocean City Memories.  The only puzzle is that the trucks were very different.  In my neighborhood, coal was delivered by large dump trucks, the ice by horse-drawn carts.  Did they have two fleets?  If you have any information, let me know and I’ll pass it on.

RWalck@Verizon.net

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About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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