Frozen Diamonds

As temperatures dip below freezing, the cold has got me thinking about the movie Frozen, which I recently saw for the first time (I know, I am a little behind). You might wonder how Disney’s Frozen can relate to Belmont Mansion. Well, in the opening scene of the movie one of the main characters is harvesting ice. (Image from the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Photograph Archives Online Catalogue).

Painting by Dahlov Ipcar. 1938 from the Smithsonian Photographs Archive

In a world where our freezer dispenses ice as needed, it is hard to imagine how involved this process was so that Adelicia could get ice in her icebox or fill her ice water pitcher with ice water to offer to visitors who came during the summer (see images of collections items below).

Adelicia had ponds on the property which ice could be harvested from. The ice would then be stored in an icehouse (a building which was mostly underground) and packed in sawdust until it was needed during the summer. Air cir