Monday, December 09, 2013

The Frozen-Water Trade: A True Story by Gavin Weightman

One day in a bookstore my best friend pointed at a book and said, "Dude, there's whole books about stuff you never knew existed." The Frozen-Water Trade is one such book, and a darn good one.

Weightman tells the story of Boston entrepreneur Frederic Tudor's unlikely life and how he virtually created a whole new industry and influenced drinking habits around the world. In the early 19th century, Tudor got the idea to sell New England ice in the Caribbean region. Starting with Martinique and moving on to Havana, New Orleans, and Charleston, he developed a successful ice cutting and shipping business. Most incredibly, he profitably supplied ice to India!

This book is exceptional. It is rare for me to really lose myself in non-fiction, but one night I was so engrossed that I lost track of time for hours. Who would expect a book about ships full of ice to be so riveting?

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