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Wheeling Ice & Storage Co.

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Wheeling Ice & Storage Co.

Wheeling Ice & Storage Co. was incorporated June 10, 1889, to manufacture artificial ice and supply cold storage. Incorporators were Col. J. A. Miller, C. W. Conner, F. P. Jepson, C. P. Brown, R. K. Friend, Julius Pollock, Harry W. McLure, Lewis Steenrod, Dr. L. D. Wilson, and Judge George E. Boyd.

Bids to build the factory, designed by Wheeling architect E. W. Wells, closed July 1, 1889. It consisted of a power room, fifty by forty-eight feet, a freezing room, fifty by sixty-nine feet, a machine room thirty-six by sixty-nine feet and an ice house sixteen by fifty feet for the storage of the ice as it came out from the freezing room. The plant was in full operation, September 20, 1889.

The machinery consisted of three forty-eight flue steam boilers, with a capacity of 240-horsepower, a twelve-horse power upright engine and the ice machine proper. The Ice machine consisted of an upright retort thirty-five feet high and forty inches in diameter, built of quarter-inch steel, with a tensile strength of 60,000 pounds. The retort contained the ammonia by the chemical action of which, the water was frozen. From the first retort, the ammonia would pass through two other condensing retorts, and by means of pipes to a freezing tank, which filled with salt water brine.

The water to be frozen was poured into rectangular pails, the size and shape of the blocks desired. The pails were sunk into the brine in the freezing machine and the action of the ammonia would freeze the contents in a matter of a few minutes.

Touting pure "Hygeia Ice From Hygeia Distilled Water," the company made ice out of distilled water using the DeCoppet system and equipment supplied by the Cincinnati Ice Machine Company. Pure ice was a rarity in Wheeling and vicinity at the time and freights costs from the Great Lakes made lake ice expensive. Wheeling Ice & Storage Co. sold blocks of ice uniform blocks of two sizes of 100 and 200 pounds to wholesale ice dealers in Wheeling and surrounding towns. By 1902, the company supplied sixty-five tons of ice to Wheeling per day. 

In addition to an ice manufacturing factory, the company also kept a cold storage warehouse in which fruits, meat, butter, eggs, and other perishable articles were kept.

In the 1930s, the company had a second plant in Elm Grove at 36 Patterson Ave. 


▶ 2224 Water St. (Corner of Water St. and 19th Alley)


Wheeling Ice & Storage Co.

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