Friday, July 22, 2011

Brrr, It's Freezing...

1999.159.001 Before electric refrigerators or freezers there were 'ice boxes', food cabinets kept cold by the blocks of ice an “ice man” would deliver to Bossier residents.

Brrr, It's Freezing...

Well, not outside any way, but it sure is cold inside our new large chest freezer at the Historical Center. No, we’re not having an ice cream party - it’s potentially hidden bugs that are getting frozen! Freezing is the most accepted way by conservators to ‘decontaminate’ new collections. We love to get donations of Bossier Parish related objects, documents and photographs, but if they’ve been stored in a shed or an attic, little critters might tag along. These insects, who like to eat holes in paper or the wool fibers in a soldier’s jacket, would be ready to feast on the rest of our collection. A freeze-thaw cycle will kill the bugs and their eggs – eliminating any potential infestations.

Speaking of freezing, there was a time when a freezer and the electricity to run it would have been unobtainable to many families. The first electric service came to Bossier Parish (Bossier City) in 1912, but some rural families were still without it in the 1940’s. In the Feb. 15, 1945 Bossier Banner newspaper, Home Demonstration agent Lettie Van Landingham announced that machinery was being purchased for the Bossier Frozen Food Locker. This community freezer allowed any Bossier Parish resident to reserve space to freeze food. A similar freezer had been up and running for a year in Webster Parish. Ms. VanLandingham made this announcement during World War II when citizens were encouraged to win the war effort through gardening and raising their own food. Community freezers provided a way to extend the time that families could consume the yields of their “Victory Gardens” or home chicken coops.


  1. Hey my very first comment on your site. ,I have been reading your blog for a while and thought I would completely pop in and drop a friendly note. . It is great stuff indeed.Freezers