Frederic Tudor, the Ice King


Dozens of workers in Arlington, Massachusetts (then West Cambridge) cut ice from Spy Pond in 1845.  Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
Dozens of workers in Arlington, Massachusetts (then West Cambridge) cut ice from Spy Pond in 1845. Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Tudor hatched a clever plan: In cold weather, he would harvest ice for cheap, and then sell it all around the world when it was hot, singlehandedly turning ice into a commodity and becoming vastly wealthy in the process.

Tracy's Research:

  • Mitenbuler, Reid. "The Stubborn American Who Brought Ice to the World." The Atlantic. 2/5/2013. https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/02/the-stubborn-american-who-brought-ice-to-the-world/272828/
  • Rupp, Rebecca. "Frederic Tudor: The King of Ice." National Geographic. 7/19/2014. http://theplate.nationalgeographic.com/2014/07/19/frederic-tudor-king-ice/
  • Pearson, Henry Greenleaf. "Frederic Tudor, Ice King." Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Third Series, Vol. 65 (Oct.,1932 - May, 1936). Via JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25080286
  • Rosenberg, Charlie. "Harvesting Ice on Jamaica Pond." Jamaica Plain Historical Society. Nov. 2007. http://www.jphs.org/locales/2004/6/1/harvesting-ice-on-jamaica-pond.html
  • Chase, Theodore and Celeste Walker. "The Journal of James Savage and the Beginning of Frederic Tudor's Career in the Ice Trade." Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Third Series, Vol. 97 (1985). Via JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25080946
  • Dickason, David G. "The Nineteenth-Century Indo-American Ice Trade: An Hyperborean Epic." Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 25, No. 1 (Feb., 1991). http://www.jstor.org/stable/312669
  • Kistler, Linda H. et al. "Planning and Control in the 19th Century Ice Trade." The Accounting Historians Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Spring 1984). Via JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40697793
  • Tudor, Frederic. "Letter on the Ice Trade and the Payment of Large Debts." Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Vol. 3 (1855 - 1858). Via JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25079177
  • Seaburg, Carl and Stanley Paterson. "The Ice King: Frederic Tudor and His Circle." Massachusetts Historical Society and Mystic Seaport. 2003.

Topics in this Podcast: what the Civil War was about, U.S. history, Indian history, slavery, maritime history, culinary history, 19th century