An Icy Reception Physicist Howard T. Barnes, of McGill University, Montreal, PQ, Canada, wrote an article that appeared in Refrigerating Engineering about the properties of ice. Barnes presented his paper to refrigerating engineers. A summation of that article ran in The News on Nov. 7, 1928.

According Barnes’ writings, wherever there is water, there is ice. Water is composed of two distinct varieties. One of these types amounts to ice in molecular form, and, even at the boiling point, a considerable amount of water could be in this form.

This and other points applied or discovered by Barnes were striking to the refrigerating engineers, especially the fact that this knowledge could have practical as well as scientific applications.

On the scientific side, the scientist has careful laboratory work and a record of this work on ice and water.

On the practical side, it supplied engineers with new facts that supported the technology of controlling formation and dispersion of ice. It showed that ice as well as water exists in a few different states. In addition, the research illustrated that ice could be melted by light as well as heat.

Barnes founded his own engineering branch — ice engineering. The ultimate purpose of it was for the destruction of winter ice, which is an impediment and dangerous to navigation and power developments in some bodies of water.

A text that Barnes had written, titled Ice Engineering, recounted his adventerous experiences on both land and sea while pursuing his work. One of these experiences was in connection with the demolition of Atlantic Ocean icebergs. One has to wonder if this interest in destroying oceanic ice springs from the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 due to the damage caused by an iceberg.


We Would Have Gotten Away with it Occasionally, The News reported on water cooler news in addition to the regular refrigeration news. The humorous item below ran in the Nov. 4, 1931 issue.

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — Electric refrigeration plays a double role in the offices of the Gulf Refining Co. here.

A water cooler which normally serves only to provide cool drinks for the employees acted as a burglar alarm on the night of Oct. 23, frightening off three bandits who had tied up a watchman and were attempting to open a currency-filled safe.

The hum of the unit was heard by the trio during a temporary lull in their sledgehammer wielding, and all three took to their heels.

“Beat it, there goes the burglar alarm,” one of the bandits is said to have exclaimed. No money was taken, although the safe contained $2,000.

Publication date: 11/05/2001