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Ice is everywhere: in gas stations, in restaurants, in hospitals, in hotels via noisy machines, and in our homes. Americans think nothing of dropping a few ice cubes into tall glasses of tea to ward off the heat of a hot summer day. Most refrigerators owned by Americans feature automatic ice machines. Ice on-demand has so revolutionized modern life that it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t always this way—in fact, the national obsession with ice can be traced back to a Bostonian merchant who, 200 years ago, figured out how to get Caribbean bartenders addicted to serving their drinks cold.

Today’s guest is Amy Brady, author of “Ice: From Mixed Drinks to Skating Rinks.” She shares the strange and storied two-hundred-year-old history of ice in America: from the introduction of mixed drinks “on the rocks,” to the nation’s first-ever indoor ice rink, to how delicacies like ice creams and iced tea revolutionized our palates, to the ubiquitous ice machine in every motel across the US. But Ice doesn’t end in the past. Brady also explores the surprising present-day uses of ice in sports, medicine, and sustainable energy—including cutting-edge cryotherapy breast-cancer treatments and new refrigerator technologies that may prove to be more energy efficient—underscoring how precious this commodity is.

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Cite This Article
"The History of America’s Ice Obsession: Why The U.S. Loves Frozen Drinks and Ice Rinks" History on the Net
© 2000-2024, Salem Media.
June 12, 2024 <https://www.historyonthenet.com/the-history-of-americas-ice-obsession-why-the-u-s-loves-frozen-drinks-and-ice-rinks>
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