This paper describes changes in the market for refrigeration products following the invention and spread of methods of artificial ice production. The ice market was already global by the mid-19th Century, a long time before technology for artificial production was widely used. Demand rose constantly from the beginning of the 19th Century, and particularly sharply in mid-century. In Western Europe, particularly England and France, local production soon failed to keep pace with demand, and American and Scandinavian producers filled the gap with regular commercial voyages. Ice was harvested in winter in New England or Norway and there were almost daily deliveries to the main ports in England and France. The consolidation of trans-Atlantic trade did not however close traditional local and regional channels. In the second half of the 19th Century, the European “cold market” was structured in three concentric circles. There was an inner circle, a close range market for snow and a second circle consisting of a regional or national market. The outer circle was the world market dominated by the USA and Norway. Of course, the three circles tended to overlap so that prices fell into line, although snow became more accessible and cheaper than ice. The market structure altered in the last decade of the 19th Century, when artificial ice production also started in Europe. But the “war” between natural and artificial ice was lengthy, and in some cases persisted even after the First World War. The final result was a new re-localisation of markets. Ice factories could not rely on storage or long-distance freight of their product. They mainly sold ice door-to-door and their horizons were very close to home. Intermediate natural ice producers operating on a regional level were the first to feel the effects of competition from factories. The next were big international merchants, and lastly, the small local sellers of ice and snow went to the wall. They resisted the new competition for the longest because of low running costs in less industrialised areas. Technological development thus transformed the sector from one of closely integrated markets covering the world into one of numerous small un-integrated local markets.

From global to local: technological development and evolution of the ice market / GRANDI A.. - In: WORLD HISTORY BULLETIN. - ISSN 0886-117X. - XXIV(2008), pp. 19-22.

From global to local: technological development and evolution of the ice market

GRANDI, Alberto
2008

Abstract

This paper describes changes in the market for refrigeration products following the invention and spread of methods of artificial ice production. The ice market was already global by the mid-19th Century, a long time before technology for artificial production was widely used. Demand rose constantly from the beginning of the 19th Century, and particularly sharply in mid-century. In Western Europe, particularly England and France, local production soon failed to keep pace with demand, and American and Scandinavian producers filled the gap with regular commercial voyages. Ice was harvested in winter in New England or Norway and there were almost daily deliveries to the main ports in England and France. The consolidation of trans-Atlantic trade did not however close traditional local and regional channels. In the second half of the 19th Century, the European “cold market” was structured in three concentric circles. There was an inner circle, a close range market for snow and a second circle consisting of a regional or national market. The outer circle was the world market dominated by the USA and Norway. Of course, the three circles tended to overlap so that prices fell into line, although snow became more accessible and cheaper than ice. The market structure altered in the last decade of the 19th Century, when artificial ice production also started in Europe. But the “war” between natural and artificial ice was lengthy, and in some cases persisted even after the First World War. The final result was a new re-localisation of markets. Ice factories could not rely on storage or long-distance freight of their product. They mainly sold ice door-to-door and their horizons were very close to home. Intermediate natural ice producers operating on a regional level were the first to feel the effects of competition from factories. The next were big international merchants, and lastly, the small local sellers of ice and snow went to the wall. They resisted the new competition for the longest because of low running costs in less industrialised areas. Technological development thus transformed the sector from one of closely integrated markets covering the world into one of numerous small un-integrated local markets.
From global to local: technological development and evolution of the ice market / GRANDI A.. - In: WORLD HISTORY BULLETIN. - ISSN 0886-117X. - XXIV(2008), pp. 19-22.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/1954057
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