ice harvesting

Each year, volunteers in South Bristol, Maine, gather to harvest ice the way it's been done for nearly 200 years.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

Ice harvesting was a thriving industry in 19th century New England. Using large, jagged-toothed saws, workers would cut heavy blocks from frozen rivers, lakes and ponds, pack it in sawdust and sell it around the world. Then came electric refrigeration, and ice-cutting became all but obsolete. But there are still a few places where the tradition is carried on.