Feigenspan's Ice Making Building

by Jack Keegan


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 The 18th Amendment was repealed by the 21st Amendment in Dec. 1933.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.


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