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Archive for Friday, January 31, 2014

40 years ago: The iceman retireth: Manager of Lawrence Ice Co. reminisces about career

January 31, 2014

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 31, 1974:

Retiring today after 40 years as an "iceman," William Lohman, the general manager of the Lawrence Ice Co., 616 Vermont, spoke about his experiences. Lohman said he had started working for the American Service Co. (later the Lawrence Ice Co.) in 1934 when he was "fresh out of high school." The company had then used two horse-driven wagons and about 13 trucks to deliver ice along busy routes in the Lawrence area. Blocks of ice ranging from 25 to 100 pounds were delivered to area homes. "People would put cards in their windows if they wanted ice that day and the delivery trucks would stop," Lohman said. A 100-pound block would last about a week, he explained, and a 25-pound block would last two or three days. Delivery trucks provided a treat for children in hot weather, he said, as "kids would run along behind the trucks and pick up chips of ice." During World War II, the ice company was at its height, Lohman said, with at least 25 employees working around the clock for nine months of the year to meet the demands of a population that didn't own electric refrigerators. The business had also served as a training center for the Navy, he added. Now in 1974, the staff had melted down to four or five people, and the company mostly provided crushed ice to area stores.

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