Harvesting ice

Carl Larsson – ”Harvesting ice”, watercolour 1905

Carl Larsson writes: ”The ice has to be harvested before the end of February! That is the sum total of my wisdom concerning the matter. The ice is sawn into blocks – larger than normal sugar blocks of course – the horse’s shafts are stuck into the water under the block to be raised; Johan and Bäckström secure it with their boathooks, they click their tongues and the horse pulls up the block which they add to the others in a neat row. The blocks are conveyed to the ice cellar and are used to make warm things cold and cold things even colder. Preferably in the summer. Now you know. What do you think of our lake, Toftan? It’s 6 km long, and Gustav Vasa has skated upon it. I believe. My boys skate on it with a sail, or the mare, Lisa, pulls them good naturedly (on their skis).

At the Carl Larsson home there was an ice cellar where ice was stored, with an insulating layer of sawdust upon.