Ice, American Ice Company, B&W

North Sacramento, CA

Decided to take a small detour on the way to photograph the I Street Bridge over the river and ended up in the somewhat blighted Del Paso area of North Sacramento and the oldest ice plant on the west coast.  No joke.

(click through on the image to view 700px graininess)

The American Ice Company was started in 1923 after the William Kerth was fired from the Crystal Ice Company in Sacramento after losing his hand in a workplace accident.  Apparently there was no need for one-handed employees in an ice plant.  This company has been in operation even since.  Initially churning out blocks of ice before the advent of refrigerators, to 1″ ice cubes sold at a premium during the height of the cocktail age, to the age of crushed ice, the company has stood the test of time, economy, crime, and urban decay.

The larger sign shows evidence of having neon in its past.  Research indicates the neon said “Cold alone is not enough”.  A Madison Avenue firm came up with the motto that no one seemed to understand.  The outstretched “ICE” sign still has partially functioning neon with the work lighting up in red while the surrounding frame does not light up.  Rumor has it that the red used to be the color of the frame while the ICE was in blue.  A blotched repair job switched the colors.

This photograph was initially processed in Lightroom, then Silver EFex Pro 2, with final edits (including adding grain) in Lightroom.  I am normally not a fan of grain in photos.  Yet, adding grain accomplished two tasks here: increasing the sense of urban decay and masking the halo effect I cannot seem to remove for some objects jutting into the sky.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, 50mm, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, f/8

Ice, American Ice Company, B&W.  Del Paso, North Sacramento, California. September 15, 2012. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.


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