Farm Collector

Remington Ice Machine

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

  • Published on Sep 1, 1986
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