101 Auntie E Street, Bloggersville, USA

101 Auntie E Street, Bloggersville, USA
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tell MeThursday- The Antique

As many of you guessed, it was the Ice Tongs. My Mothers kitchen had all these thing up on the kitchen wall. I just love History and searching for the dates of things my Parents or an antique shop has. There is just somethings about the time before me. It's like a mystery just waiting to be retold. So many time we forget that there once was a time when electric was not available for everyone. Just to think that time was not all that long ago. Many of our Grandparents can tell you of that time. This is just one story of the time of Ice Boxes.

This is an Ice Tong
One that hangs in my fathers home now.

In the 1800's through the Mid 1900's Ice boxes were use to keep food cold. The ice trucks would come to the streets and people would purchase their ice blocks for the Day. Ice tongs were used to carry the ice block to the house. During the later days, some companies would give out these tong to their customers, just for being loyal. The one Pictured above was one of those kind.
The closes Patent I found was this one(below). As you can see it dates back to 1899. even though these were used earlier the patent would be issued later. Patent could take up to a couple of years to be given. Must patent are listed by issue date and not submitted date. Therefore other companies could copy the product until the patent is issued.

Patent 621,356 Issued Mar. 21, 1899 to Albert D. Marsh of Ovid, New York.


The objective of the patent is to have tongs with two movable jaws and provided with means whereby the distance the jaws can be opened, can be adjusted and open the a fixed distance and their closing also regulated.

L – 26-1/2”, Spread – 21”,

PAT MAR 21, 99 BY A D MARSH, on one side of the lower portion of the handle, double action pivot. This item is the configuration of the upper right patent drawing.

Patent drawing

Not sure what time frame my families ice tong was made. I found a couple of similar photos. Both have dates of around the end of the 1800's and beginning of 1900's
This one is from a Patent site.

Antique Abbey had these.
Said to have been found close to The Old Ice House after hurricane Katrina.
I believe ours would be before 1899 since it so closely resembles Albert Marsh's patented Ice Tongs. Patents were usually for long periods of time. My Logic is the companies copy his until the patent was issued or they got their patent request in later.after the patent was issued you will only see Albert's. Another reason is because, there seems to be a patent pending on ours and that usually means the request came in after Albert Marsh's but before Albert's was issued. So I would give it a date of around the mid 1890's.


  1. love how you feel about history I love to find out as well for years my parents had an antique shop and I dabble in it from time to time

  2. wow, what a nice post. I am so glad I guessed right!!

  3. Reminds me of antique birthing thongs. They are not as sharp though. But the mechanics are the same.

  4. Great post! My parents collect a lot of antiques as well but not for a shop, just for their house and fun. I love the history behind stuff like this. Even touching it you can feel the story behind it.

  5. Great research! Very interesting. Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Very cool! Thanks for sharing....man was I way off or what? :)

  7. Very interesting, I love information like that! And I guessed right, yay! My mom used to collect antique kitchenware, I'll have to tell her about this post (and btw,I'm following your blog now). Have a great day! :)

  8. A week or so ago, I watched an episode of American Pickers and the guys came across an ice tongs. Or, was it that show about the Las Vegas pawnshop. No matter. I recognized the tongs. I like your TellMeThursday feature. Thanks for the research and info!

  9. What a cool thing, those ice tongs! I had a relative (cousin of my great grandmother) who was an iceman in Brooklyn in the early 1900s, so it was especially fun for me to learn a little bit more about ice tongs :)

  10. I did a post on this subject not long ago. My grandfather delivered ice blocks to people's homes. I wouldn't want to go back to the days of ice boxes, but a few of those big ice blocks would be nice to have around during this very hot summer.

  11. What a cool thing to have! They look a bit like a torture device too. lol

  12. they used these to pick up blocks of ice. boy! we have come along way


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