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Posted on November 7, 2013 | 8:33 a.m.

Historical Museum to Host Lecture by Historian David Petry on Puritan Ice Cos.

Source: Dacia Harwood for the Santa Barbara Historical Museum

Puritan Ice
The Puritan Ice Companies book cover.

Join the Santa Barbara Historical Museum for a lecture by historian David Petry as he examines the fascinating history of the Puritan Ice Companies, and the unique Central Coast corporation’s impact on the national scene.

The Puritan Ice Companies operated in Santa Barbara from 1922 to 1986, opening the vegetable markets in the Santa Maria and Lompoc valleys to wide distribution by pioneering the use of refrigerated railcars. Puritan ran the world’s largest poultry plant and, during the World War II homefront era of the 1940s, was pivotal in facilitating Mexican labor in California, expanding vegetable and melon markets at Blythe and providing ice for General Patton’s Army Desert Training Center near Indio.

The rise and fall of one company parallels stories of domestic ice use and the impact of ice on the rail business, which declined with interstate refrigerated trucking.

The lecture and book-signing will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13 in the Sala Gallery at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, 136 E. De la Guerra St..

The event was generously sponsored by Eleanor Van Cott and P.A. “Andy” Weber lll.

Reservations are required, and are free to museum members, $10 for museum guests.

Click here to make a reservation. For more information, call 805.966.1601.

 — Dacia Harwood is the public relations coordinator for the Santa Barbara Historical Museum.

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