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Tex-Ice building complex c. 1935


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#1 fortworthman

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 04:02 PM

Texas Ice & Refrigerating Co. 1109 Jones Street, Fort Worth, Texas, c1935. This photo is looking North on Jones Street. Known as Tex-Ice. It was a large building complex of approximately 5 acres on the eastern edge of downtown Fort Worth. It was primarily a cold storage facility of food commodities that required selected temperatures at or below the outside air temperature. It had blast freezer that could freeze foods, such as turkeys and other commodities to sub zero temperatures in a very short period of time and store them at those sub zero temperatures. Tex-Ice also manufactured block ice for institutional and commercial use such as the Fort Worth school system, most of the Fort Worth restaurants and other commercial establishments.

Until about 50 years ago, all commercially produced ice was made in rectangular blocks weighing about 300 pounds each. Block ice is produced by much the same method used when refrigeration was introduced early in the twentieth century. Rectangular metal cans approximately 11 inches wide, 22 inches long, and 42 inches deep are filled with water and spaced in regular rows about 4 inches apart on the floor of a shallow pool. This pool is filled with brine, which is chilled to approximately 15 F and circulated past the cans. It often takes as long as four days to completely freeze the water in the cans. Because of its large volume-to-surface-area ratio, however, block ice can be held for a considerable time without appreciable loss from melting. Block ice was delivered to most of Fort Worth from this ice plant for many years. The ice business began its demise with the progression of smaller ice making machines like the ones you can observed in restaurants today.

This photo shows the engine room that housed giant Frick compressors that provided coolant to the ice making facility as well as the freezer rooms for commodity storage. The giant cooling tower on top of the building provides the enormity of the heat exchanger to keep the buildings cool.

The story handed to me was that part of this complex use to be an old brewery before the 1900s. Many of the brick walls were over 12 feet thick and in addition used cork for insulation. This complex was sold in the early 1970s and demolished soon after. It was a parking lot for many years.

What is here today? Walk into the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) Station and you will be standing were these buildings are in the photo. You can see a photo of the TRE station elsewhere in this forum.

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#2 bburton

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 05:59 PM

This is really good "stuff," FortWorthman. Thanks for sharing the pictures and your knowledge. smile.gif

#3 mbdalton1

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 09:19 PM

^^^^I agree! These photos and historical info is incredibly facinating!

Thanks so much for sharing!!

smile.gif mary bess




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