Collection Highlights

Ice Saw

1988.0964 – Photo: Tom Alföldi 


In the past, ice cut from frozen bodies of water in January and February was used to keep food fresh during the summer months. The ice was cut into blocks using a long saw. Then, it was lifted out using ice tongs and taken to a storage space. When summer came, ice sellers in urban areas would distribute smaller blocks for use in home ice boxes. This activity lasted until around 1950. After that, residents of most Canadian cities had switched to mechanical refrigerators.

Current Location:

Collection Storage Facility


Saws like this were typical throughout Canada. This particular model was used at the Petawawa National Forestry Institute in Ontario.

Technical Information:

This saw was used to harvest heavy ice from ponds and lakes. It has a removable tiller blade and double-grip handle. The blade is 152.5 centimeters long, 17 centimetres wide, and half a centimetre thick. The teeth are extra large for easy cutting.

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