Situated on the corner of Christie Street
and Raymond Blvd was a large structure that housed the Ice making
plant of the brewery. It was always surrounded by the acrid smell
of ammonia gas. The gas was used to cool the brine, that made the
making of ice possible. Steel molds filled with water were placed
in the brine tanks.
After some time when the ice was formed in them, the ice was removed
from the molds. It was great sight to see those large ice blocks
slid across the wooden floor. The ice was than stored in a large
insulated room for later use in the brewery.
Also near there Coopers worked on the repairing and making wooden
barrels. Arraigning staves in a vertical manner, then encircling
them with red hot steel bands. When the bands cooled, they shrunk
causing the staves to really tighten up, making the barrels water,
or should I say Beer proof. It was great to see these artificers
doing their craft.
Feigenspan's lighted sign PON, meaning Pride of Newark, washed
over Down Neck every night during the years of prohibition, hoping
for the repeal of the 18th Amendment, the Volstead Act. The 18th
Amendment was repealed by the 21st Amendment in Dec. 1933. It meant
that the manufacturing and sale of alcoholic beverages was legal.
It delighted many Down Neckers, as it found employment for them
in the local breweries. A good thing as the depression was still
with us. I can remembering looking out the window of the upper floor
of our home on Brill Street and seeing that great P O N sign.