The Oak Park Society of Model Engineers, H.O Scale Model Railroad Club. Oak Park Illinois USA. August 2011., a photo by Eddie from Chicago on Flickr.
This photo is going out to anyone, who is a fan of the former Chicago & NorthWestern Railroad.
Seen here on the Oak Park Society of Model Engineers, H.O Scale Model Railroad Club layout, are several models of wooden steam era ( 1940's) ice cooled refrigerator cars from the C & N,W.
In the days before mechanical refrigeration, perishable foods were transported by rail via these wooden box cars. There were ice bunkers with hatches at the ends of the car.
You practically had to be a body builder back then, just to lift the big blocks of ice with tongs, and load them in to the hatches. A very hard, heavy and dangerous job back in the day.
Ice reefer cars, were eventually phased out for good around the year of 1970, as modern mechanical refrigeration systems had taken over mostly during the 1960's.