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The Ice Trade Game

  • By Richard Pommier Swanson
  • Posted 01.08.08
  • NOVA

In July 1805, an aspiring businessman named Frederic Tudor heard his brother William mention, half in jest, that they could harvest winter ice from the pond on their family farm in Massachusetts and sell it in the tropical Caribbean. The rest is history. By the following March, Frederic Tudor was in the Caribbean with his first shipload of ice. Initially he lost money, in part because his ice tended to melt on the long sea journey. But once he settled on sawdust for insulation and made other improvements, Tudor began shipping ice as far away as India. Ultimately, Tudor made millions and earned the title of "The Ice King." In this interactive game, see if you have the stuff to become an "Ice King" of your own.

Launch Interactive

In this map-based game, dispatch 10 ships loaded with natural ice to Florida, Brazil, or India. Can you make a profit?

This feature originally appeared on the site for the NOVA program Absolute Zero.

Richard Pommier Swanson is the former Science Content Director for PBS's DragonflyTV. He holds degrees in Education and the History of Science and Technology from the University of Minnesota.

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©2007 Meridian Productions and Windfall Films

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