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Thursday, April 19 News

Way Back When… 1880s

In 1889 Benjamin Buckley Jr.., of Westport, was the third generation to operate his family’s ice-wagon delivery business. The Sasco ice-wagon was wagon No. 1, which was a horse drawn carriage. In order to serve customers in Southport, Green’s Farms and Westport, the Sasco ice man made deliveries to household two or three times a week. A card was placed in the window of the home to alert the delivery man on how many pounds of ice were needed for the family’s ice box

The iceman wore his

customary apron and protective cloth to haul blocks of ice over his shoulders into the house using ice tongs. ( See photo of 1920’s ice box) He chipped the block of ice on the back gate of his wagon so that it would fit into the zinc lined ice box. In the summer children would gather around the back of his wagon for cool ice-shavings (See photo of ice shaver)

With the invention of the automobile the ice-man and his horse drawn carriage disappeared. Mr. Buckley bought his first motor truck in 1935. The first electric refrigerator was introduced by General Electric in 1927. By the 1950’s most homes had switched to electric refrigerators, and then it was electric all the way to the sub zero’s of today.

Margaret Mazer for the Westport Historical Society. For information on programs and membership please visit:westporthistory.org. Mazer can be reached at mmazer@gmail.com