Remington Ice Machine

Ice machine

Content Tools

4700 Bayshore Road Sarasota, Florida 33580

The ice machine pictured here was made by the Remington Ice Machine Co., of Wilmington, Delaware, in 1907 and installed in the summer of that year in the milk processing plant of Henry Becker, Sr., my grandfather, at Roseland, New Jersey. (The company was later known as Henry Becker & Son, Inc.).

The steam engine was single cylinder, double acting, approximately 10' bore by 12' stroke and operated on 100 PSI, speed controlled by governor at 75-80 R.P.M.'s.

The ammonia compressor was two cylinder, approximately 8' x 8', 'high' side, 150 pounds, low (suction) side approximately 15 pounds vacuum. It had a water cooled condensor. After water passed through the condensor it went to a storage reservoir for re-use.

The engine and ammonia compressor were mounted on a common cast iron base. This was known as a 12 ton machine. In later years the evaporator controls were improved to provide approximately 15 tons on a continuous 24 hour basis.

This machine was in continuous operation, 12 to 16 hours a day with the exception of very few days a year from 1907 to November 1964. Its slow speed, as well as the excellent care it received, accounted for its long operational life.

Back in the thirties, the local power company attempted to prove that electricity would be cheaper, but could not do so in our case. In as much as the boiler needed a fireman to keep steam up for milk processing as well as heating several buildings, and the boiler, ice machine, etc. were all paid and free and clear, the best the power company culd do was to barely equal our costs.

About 1973 or 1974, the machine was donated to Rough and Tumble Engineers Historical Association at Kinzers, Pennsylvania and removed intact from its original home.

Remington Ice Machine at Henry Becker's milk processing plant. The man in the photo is Mr. John Batta, who was with the dairy for over fifty years until his retirement around 1964.