As a child I would listen eagerly as my grandparents would regale me with stories of the neighborhood ice man, who, prior to the age when names such as Kenmore, Amana and GE became commonplace, would lug large blocks of ice up to their fifth-floor walk-up.

With horse-drawn carriages or rumbling trucks, those strapping men would take a large pair of tongs, reach into the rear compartment of their wagons and pull out a piece of ice that, arguably, could have come close to sinking the Titanic.

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