Ice pick

Leonard Burlington Smith was the first person to import ice to Curaçao. In 1876 his ship entered the port of Willemstad loaded with ice from the Penobscot river in Maine, United States. Despite the long journey and tropical temperatures Smith’s ice always arrived intact because he would pack it in sawdust from Maine’s timber mills.

He set up two ‘ice houses’ on the Saint Anna wharf bay and sold ice and cold drinks to the Curaçaoan people who were skeptical at first, believing these cold drinks were unhealthy. Nowadays it’s hard to find a drink in Curaçao without ice in it.

This object was used to hold large ice blocks, a participant told us. “In the old days people would buy blocks of ice for parties, break the blocks with ice picks and sprinkle salt on it to lower the melting and freezing point.”

“ He would pack it in sawdust from Maine's timber mills.”