120 South Adams Street
Built, after 1877
A competitor to Mrs. Jane King!
The Transparent Ice Works, situated at the corner of Adams and Canal streets, are owned (together with ample room to enable them to enlarge) by Hermann Schmidt. They embrace also a cold-storage department, which is a great advantage to those of the business community handling perishable commodities.
These works were established ten years ago by Mr. Schmidt. He makes a strictly pure ice in them from distilled water. They have 35 tons daily capacity, and ran ten teams for city delivery; they employ thirty hands, and have an output of about 6,000 tons of product a year. Their equipment is of the Johnson compression patent. Shipments are made from them to all parts of this State.
Mr. Schmidt is a man of more than ordinary enterprise. He is the proprietor also of two grocery stores here—one on Broad and the other on Main street. He is the president of the Virginia Building and Loan Association, and is largely interested also in other local projects.
He is, in fact, one of the most substantial men, financially, in the city. He is of German birth, but has been a resident here for twenty-seven years, and for five years before that time was an exporter and importer of New York city. [RVCJ93]
Back in the day, being in the ice business meant getting cakes of river ice from northern states. By producing ice from distilled water instead, Schmidt was competing directly with Hygeia Ice Factory, the first company in Richmond to sell distilled water ice, and with Mrs. Jane King, who controlled the company’s entire output (”… see Jane run… see Jane run a business… see Jane kick the competition’s ass…”).
Like Mrs. King, Hermann Schmidt could see the future coming.
(Transparent Ice Works is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)
- [RVCJ93] Richmond, Virginia: The City on the James: The Book of Its Chamber of Commerce and Principal Business Interests. G. W. Engelhardt. 1893.
RVA Legends is a regular series
appearing on rocket werks – check it out!