November 30, 2023

Ice Vending: From History to Ice Delivery Evolution

Ice vending machines convenient access to obtain ice for various needs, whether it be for a cooler at the beach, at-home treatments, or chilled coffee to start your day.

All of this is thanks to our good old friend Federic Tudor, the Ice King. No, not the Night King from Game of Thrones. The founder of the Tudor Ice Company and a pioneer of the international ice trade in the early 19th century. 


The ancient Chinese, Greeks, and Romans all harvested and stored ice, but it was seen as a luxury and only those of high class could have access to it. Tudor’s entrepreneurial spirit was able to increase access to ice for those that were not rich. 

It all began when Tudor had the crazy idea of cutting giant ice blocks out of ponds during the freezing Boston winter and putting them on a ship in order to deliver them to the tropical Caribbean islands. Selling ice to people that have never seen frozen water in their lives? How could this plan possibly work?

Well this plan did more than just “work.” This insane idea made Tudor one the richest Americans during his time. He eventually sold ice to places as far as India!

The Creation of the Ice Maker

The four key components of all refrigeration equipment are:

  • Evaporator
  • Condenser
  • Compressor
  • Throttle Valve

The compressor is like a pump that squeezes a gas called refrigerant, making it hotter and more pressurized. Then, it sends this gas to a place called the condenser where it cools down and becomes a liquid. This liquid then goes to a place called the throttle valve where it expands and becomes cooler and less pressurized. After that, it goes to a place called the evaporator where it absorbs heat from the surroundings and turns into ice.

This refrigeration cycle began being formed by Oliver Evans, the inventor who designed the first refrigeration machine in 1805. Jacob Perkins built the first practical refrigerating machine using ether in a vapor compression cycle 30 years later.

Modern Day Ice Vending

Ice vending machines have replaced the traditional method of purchasing ice, which involved buying freezer-burned ice that had been melted into big blocks due to the thawing and freezing that occurred during transportation. Before the introduction of these machines, customers had to wait in line at stores to purchase ice that was packaged in bags.

Ice vending was created to combat these issues. The invention and history of ice vending is so new, which means there is always room for improvement. To have an easily maintainable machine that could provide ice and water, the VersaVend barrel was created. 

The VersaVend is a one moving part dispensing system that prevents any jams from happening. This specific design system is only exclusive to Everest Ice and Water Systems. Ice Vending being a new industry allows constant revolutionary changes to be made. History is currently being made as we speak and you can be a part of that.

Everest Ice and Water vending machine
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