This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
To A. J Downing, Esq.- About the season when the Madeleine Pear is ripe, (in July,) I expected a friend, who I knew would be delighted with the taste of this fruit. He did not however arrive until the fruit (which you know lasts only a few days) was nearly gone. I gathered, notwithstanding, a few good specimens, and putting them into a dry, covered, tin vessel, surrounded this with ice, where it remained for two weeks. This, so far as I am aware, was an original experiment, and I knew not, therefore, how it would succeed; but on the arrival of my friend, the cover being removed, I was not a little gratified, as well as surprised, to find that the fruit had undergone little or no change, several of the pears being still hard, while those which were fully ripe, when put into the vessel, had not decayed.
As the success of this experiment was wholly beyond my expectation, I have since tried it on other fruits, as early peaches, and summer pears, with equal success. I see no difficulty, therefore, in presenting our friends, on the other side of the Atlantic, specimens of our finest pears and peaches, if they are enclosed in dry tin or glass vessels, and placed in the ice-house of the ship. My experiments, however, have been made only with small quantities of fruit, the vessels holding each but one or two quarts, as a common tin-pail with a tight cover. If you think this new, and worth knowing, please insert it. Yours truly, J. L. Comstock. Hartford, Ct., Sept. 1851.
A very simple and very successful experiment. Since receiving this account, we notice in the Liverpool papers, that an American has more delicate fruits. Mr. Tudor, of Boston, familiarly known as the "lee King," - must, however, have the credit of the discovery, for his ice ships have for several years past been in the habit of supplying the wealthy citizens of Calcutta with fine American apples - carried out with the ice. Ed.