|Thursday, March 15, 1923, Vol. 72, No. 4||The Northern Advance (Barrie)||Page 1, col. 3|
C.N.R. harvests 20,000 tons of ice
Modern harvesting method makes quick work; two-foot ice
The harvesting of the Kempenfeldt Bay ice crop was completed on Saturday night, when the C.N.R. plant at Allandale was closed. J. G. Scott & Co. finished their harvesting operations over a week ago.
To the average citizen the methods employed in harvesting the ice are almost totally unknown. Even the busy housewife, who carefully places the meat, milk, butter and other perishable commodities in the refrigerator in summer, never stops to consider how or where the ice used in the refrigerator was obtained. In some of the larger cities the ice is made artificially by an intricate chemical process, but the usual source of supply, and the one most real to Barrie people, is that of taking the natural ice from a lake, bay or river.
But how is it harvested? The old-time method by which a few blocks were sawn, chopped and taken out singly, is much too slow and costly. A faster, more modern, method by which many tons per day are harvested has been devised and used successfully.
The C.N.R. in their harvesting operations at Allandale, have wholly made use of the modern way. J. G. Scott & Co. have used it in connection with their harvest at Barrie, although not to the same extent as the C.N.R.
Briefly the process is as follows: First, any slush or snow that may be on top of the ice is removed by scrapers. After the desired area has been cleared, markers for making the ice into block of the required size are used. Then a power saw cuts the blocks as marked, the cut being from fifteen to eighteen inches deep. Small floes consisting of from thirty to fifty blocks are broken off and floated into the channel which leads to the loading apparatus on shore. The loading is, perhaps, the most interesting feature of the process. Beside a railway siding, a loading platform parallel to the track is erected. The length of the platform depends on the number of cars which are to be loaded at the same time. The platform is slightly higher than the cars. The blocks are brought to the platform by an endless elevating chain, which operates on a wooden runway leading from the end of the channel to the centre of the platform. The large floes are floated down the channel by men with pikes. Just as the floe reaches the elevating chain, it is broken up into individual blocks. At the top of the elevator the blocks are shoved either to the right or to the left. A small runway leads from the loading platform to the cars. Men stationed at these push blocks into the cars, where they are properly piled. Eight cars are loaded simultaneously.
This year the thickness of the ice is about twenty-four inches. The C.N.R. plant at Allandale started harvesting on January 26 and completed operations on March 10. Over seventy-five men were employed and loaded an average of forty-five cars per day. Approximately 20,000 tons of ice were harvested. This is less than was taken out last year. The ice is shipped to Toronto and points on the Barrie Division.
J. G. Scott & Co., local ice dealers, have just finished filling their capacious icehouse. The same preliminary methods of marking, sawing and floating the ice were used, but the ice was then loaded on sleighs and drawn by trucks to the ice houses. Next summer the ice will be used in Barrie refrigerators. Householders sweltering in the heat of summer will be glad of the ice harvested in times of plenty.