Where technology brought us 

Amador Chiropractic
924 1 St
Silvis, IL 61282

Community Health Care
1803 7 St
Moline, IL 61265

Vickroy's of Monmouth
120 E Archer Ave
Monmouth, IL 61462

Evans Manufacturing
4608 W 78 Ave
Rock Island, IL 61201

Martin Equipment
Rock Island, IL 61201

Clinton Community College
Muscatine Community College
Scott Community college

United Personnel, Inc
1921 5th Ave
Moline, IL 61265

KDi Corporation
P.O. Box 1342
Bettendorf, IA 52722

5115 Utica Ridge Rd
Davenport, IA 52807

Careers, Inc
807 W 35 St
Davenport, IA

Midwest Human Resources
4601 16 St
Moline, IL 61265

Volt Services Group
100 E Kimberly Rd Suite 404
Northwest Bank Building
Davenport, IA

All Staff Human Resources
3401 16 St
Moline, IL 61265

All Staff Human Resources
710 E Kimberly Rd
Davenport, IA

Original ice boxes not as cool as today's

By Lydia Sage, Dispatch/Argus Staff writer

Lydia Sage / staff
Amy McElhiney shows a circa 1900 icebox, where the family stored perishables. The top compartment held a 100-pound block of ice, and food was placed in the compartment below. Many families used a sign, similar to the one she is holding, to let the ice deliveryman know how much ice they needed. The icebox is on display at the Tampico apartment where former president Ronald Reagan was born. The apartment has been restored to the early 1900s era when Mr. Reagan's family lived there.

Lydia Sage / staff
Arnie Drolema, owner of Yarbrough Appliance, Morrison and Savanna, shows one of the earliest electric refrigerator-freezers, a GE model made about 1930. It is displayed in his Morrison store window, and has a 6-cubic-foot interior, compared to the 18- to 22-cubic-foot refrigerator-freezer units sold today.

As you head to the refrigerator for a snack or cold drink, stop and think what life would be without it.

Scary, isn't it?

Appliance store owner Arnie Drolema of Morrison chuckles when he describes the panic people feel when their refrigerator quits working.

``They really want it fixed the same day,'' Mr. Drolema said. ``That's the one call we drop almost everything else so that we can to get to it. If it's down you try to get to it first.

``People have a lot of money invested in the food in the refrigerator, and they sure don't want to lose it,'' Mr. Drolema said.

Like most technology, refrigeration methods have changed by leaps and bounds since the early 1900s, when iceboxes offered the best way to chill food.

Dependable and affordable refrigeration came along in the early 1920s and by the late 1920s families were able to buy refrigerators, with a tiny freezer compartment inside.

``They sure looked a lot different then,'' he said, using one of those early models to explain how the compressor, or cooling unit, was placed on top.

Amy McElhiney of Tampico remembers the days before refrigerators made their way into all homes all too clearly.

``A block of ice was placed in the top compartment of the unit, which cooled the food in the lower section,'' she said.

As the ice melted, it ran underneath the icebox into a tray which had to be emptied regularly, she said.

``Woe be to the child who forgot it was his turn to empty that tray,'' she recalled with a laugh. ``It was a very important chore.''

To make it easier for the ``iceman'' who made regular deliveries of blocks of ice, customers would hang a special sign in their window to alert the deliveryman to how large a chunk they needed.

``This was particularly important,'' she said, noting the chunks of ice ranged from 25 to 100 pounds, depending on the size of the customer's icebox.

Mrs. McElhiney also recalls her grandparents and an aunt also used their outdoor water wells as an ideal place to store parishables.

``They would put the food into a metal box with shelves -- the box was attached to the hand crank -- and then they would crank (the box) down into the water well,'' she said.

``My goodness,'' Mrs. McElhiney said, ``how things have changed.''

Copyright 1999, Moline Dispatch Publishing Co.