This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
Partly fill with water a shallow granite-ware pan. Place it in an open, shady window where there is a good draught of air. In this put bottles of water, milk, and cream (sealed), wrapped with wet cloths reaching into the water. Put butter in an earthen dish deep enough to prevent water getting in. Over this turn an earthen flower-pot wrapped with a wet cloth reaching into the water. The pan should be fixed every morning and evening. With several of these pans one can keep house very comfortably without ice.
Procure a wire meat-safe—that is, a box covered by wire netting on three sides, with a fly-proof door. On top place a deep pan filled with water. Take a piece of burlap the height of the pan and safe, and of sufficient length to reach around the entire safe. Tack it fast where the door opens and closes. Tuck the upper edge in the water. Place it where there is a draught and where the* dripping will do no damage. This constitutes a well-ventilated refrigerator that costs nothing but water to maintain.
Take a store box, any convenient size, and place in this a smaller box, having the bottom and space around the sides packed with sawdust. Have a galvanized iron pan made, the size of the inside box and half as deep, to hold the ice. Have the pan made with a spout 6 inches long to drain off the water as the ice melts. Bore a hole the size of the spout through the double bottom and sawdust packing to admit the spout. Short legs may be nailed on the sides of the box and a vessel set underneath to catch the drippings. Put on a tight board cover. A shelf may be placed in the box above the ice. This box will keep ice for three days.
Select a large cracker box with a hinged cover. Knock out the bottom and cut windows in each side, leaving a 3-inch frame, over which tack wire gauze. In the coolest part of the cellar dig away the earth to a level depth of 3 inches and fit the box into the space.
Mix plaster of Paris to a consistency of thick cream and pour into the box for a 1/2-inch thick bottom. Twenty-four hours will harden it sufficiently. Put a hook and catch on the lid. A box of this sort can be cleaned easily, and insects cannot penetrate it.
Have a stout tin funnel made, 7 inches in diameter at the top. The tube portion should be at least 8 inches long and of uniform diameter. Bore a hole through the floor directly under the drain-pipe of the refrigerator; insert the funnel, then force a piece of rubber tubing (a tight fit) over the funnel from the cellar side. Pass the tubing through a hole cut in the screen frame of a cellar window, and drain into any convenient place. This avoids the necessity of continually emptying the drain-pan, and prevents the overflow that frequently occurs when it is forgotten.
This simple device saves the inconvenience of having a drip-pan under the refrigerator: If the refrigerator is placed near the outer wall get a piece of rubber hose long enough to reach from the waste pipe to the outside of the wall. Bore a hole through the wall under the refrigerator, where baseboard and floor meet. Attach the hose to the waste-pipe and pass through the hole in the wall. A small trough outside should carry the water away from the house.