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saladin's ice - possible?

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  • julian wilson
    ... A mountain which is snow clad for much of the year. Of course, there was still the 100miles to travel, but ... it could be done. COMMENT Indeed it could
    Message 1 of 13 , Jul 1, 2005
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      jeffrey.heilveil@... wrote:
      > From http://www.ehistory.com/world/PeopleView.Cfm?PID=46 (which may
      > or may not be accurate, as many list this as legend, not fact)
      >
      > "When King Richard I of England came down with a fever, Saladin sent
      > him peaches, pears and ice from the top of Mount Hermon, 100 miles
      > away."
      >
      > Despina
      A mountain which is snow clad for much of the year. Of course, there was
      still the 100miles to travel, but ... it could be done.


      COMMENT
      Indeed it could be done, and was done - certainly in England.
      Not only did the Romans build underground "ice-storage chambers" in this country [and elsewhere, of course], but these were frequently constructed again over a thousand years later, [when the "mystery principle " was 'rediscovered'] - in the grounds of many great 17th , 18th, & 19th Century Country Houses - capable of preserving cut blocks of winter ice between layers of straw. I have visited a number of such Houses now in the care of English Heritage, and the National Trust where these "ice-houses" still survive. Stourhead, near Bath is one such "great House".
      The Romans certainly knew how to transport ice long distances from mountain-tops which did not thaw, to the sites where the ice was required. I recall reading about this ancient technology during my Roman Studies some 40 [and more] years ago. The transportation operation would have been 'manpower intensive' to arrange and therefore only for the rich and powerful; - but any Roman Emperor or medivæval Potentate such as Saladin would have had control of sufficient manpower to organise such transportation of ice.
      I also recall reading somewhere that certain central European and North African Nomad tribes knew how to utilise daytime sun's heating and night-time cooling to chill air, and to freeze water.
      Now if I could just recall the Literature references.........
      Perhaps some other Lister could shed even more light on this than my poor memory affords?



      Yours in service,
      Julian Wilson,
      [aka. Messire Matthew Baker/Matthieu Besquer, Governor & Castellan of Jersey, 1486-1497: - "Si vis pacem, para bellum"]
      late-medieval Re-enactor; & Historian and Master Artisan to
      "The Companie of the Duke's Leopards",
      [the only medieval living-history Group
      in "olde" Jersey]
    • Jeff Gedney
      ... If you can get the refs for this, I d think it marvellous to try to duplicate. Myself, I cant find any references to this in period, but there is certainly
      Message 2 of 13 , Jul 1, 2005
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        >I also recall reading somewhere that certain central European and North African Nomad tribes knew how to utilise daytime sun's heating and night-time cooling to chill air, and to freeze water.
        >Now if I could just recall the Literature references.........
        >Perhaps some other Lister could shed even more light on this than my poor memory affords?

        If you can get the refs for this, I'd think it marvellous to try to duplicate.

        Myself, I cant find any references to this in period, but there is certainly a technical basis for the solar heating/Nightime cooling system of Ice generation.

        http://www.energy-concepts.com/isaac.html

        Capt Elias
        -Renaissance Geek of the Cyber Seas

        - Help! I am being pecked to death by the Ducks of Dilletanteism!
        There are SO damn many more things I want to try in the SCA
        than I can possibly have time for. It's killing me!!!

        -------------------------------------------------------------
        Upon the hempen tackle ship-boys climbing;
        Hear the shrill whistle which doth order give
        To sounds confused; behold the threaden sails,
        Borne with the invisible and creeping wind,
        Draw the huge bottoms through the furrow'd sea,
        Breasting the lofty surge: O, do but think
        You stand upon the ravage and behold
        A city on the inconstant billows dancing;
        For so appears this fleet majestical,
        Holding due course to Harfleur.
        - Shakespeare - Henry V, Act III, Prologue
      • jeffrey.heilveil@ndsu.edu
        Oh yeah, more on the ice. when you are talking about taking a single solid block, it lasts an amazing amount of time because you ve greatly reduced the ratio
        Message 3 of 13 , Jul 1, 2005
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          Oh yeah, more on the ice.

          when you are talking about taking a single solid block, it lasts an
          amazing amount of time because you've greatly reduced the ratio of surface
          area to volume.

          Bogdan

          -----------------------------------------------------------
          Jeffrey S. Heilveil, Ph.D.
          Postdoctoral Fellow
          Department of Biological Sciences
          North Dakota State University
          Stevens Hall
          Fargo, ND 58105
          jeffrey.heilveil@...
        • Hasoferet@aol.com
          In a message dated 7/1/05 8:42:24 AM Pacific Daylight Time, ... I recall that in one of Laura Ingalls Wilder s books (obviously not period, but still), a
          Message 4 of 13 , Jul 1, 2005
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            In a message dated 7/1/05 8:42:24 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
            jeffrey.heilveil@... writes:


            > A mountain which is snow clad for much of the year. Of course, there was
            > still the 100miles to travel, but ... it could be done.

            I recall that in one of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books (obviously not period,
            but still), a family is described as packing blocks of ice away in hay for the
            summer. The mountain might simply be a good source, if Saladin were doing
            something similar.

            Raquel Crescas


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Maitiú the JOAT
            ... ISAAC is an ammonia-cycle sorption freezer. Aside from the fact that it s solar powered, it s really not much different from an RV refrigerator. However,
            Message 5 of 13 , Jul 2, 2005
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              Capt Elias/Jeff Gedney wrote:
              >Myself, I cant find any references to this in period, but there is
              >certainly a technical basis for the solar heating/Nightime cooling system
              >of Ice generation.
              >
              >http://www.energy-concepts.com/isaac.html

              ISAAC is an ammonia-cycle sorption freezer. Aside from the fact that it's
              solar powered, it's really not much different from an RV refrigerator.

              However, it is possible to make ice at night in many places, as long as the
              nighttime ambient temperature isn't too high and the humidity is low. A
              clear night sky with no moon makes a great heatsink, as it has a
              temperature of nearly absolute zero. If you can manage to place a basin of
              water with a shield around it, or better yet, on a hilltop, such that the
              water is exposed only to the sky, it will cool to 20 or 30 degrees
              farenheit below ambient, so if the nighttime temperatures are in the 50s or
              so, you can get ice. If you try this, it is important that there be no
              buildings, trees, etc. in line of sight of the water, as the infrared
              radiation from these things will negate the heatsink effect of the sky.

              I don't have any period documentation that this was done, but I recall
              being told that it was known to the natives of such places as the northern
              plains states, Australia, the Mid East, and North Africa. This was 30 years
              ago in a physics class on blackbody radiation.

              I can say that I have done it several times in Northern California, just
              because I think it's a neat phenomenon. The hilltop thing works well. A
              parabolic solar cooker aimed at the sky also works.

              Maitiú
            • Maitiú the JOAT
              If anyone s interested, I found this link: from some people at BYU who made ice using a solar cooker of their own design.
              Message 6 of 13 , Jul 2, 2005
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                If anyone's interested, I found this link:
                <http://solarcooking.org/funnel.htm> from some people at BYU who made ice
                using a solar cooker of their own design. It's near the bottom of the page,
                under "How to Use the Solar Funnel as a Refrigerator/Cooler."

                I forgot to mention that insulation between the water and the ground can be
                important, since without it the ground warms the water. In some of my
                trials, I only got a little ice floating on the top of the water. I suspect
                that in those cases, the bulk of the water was acting as the insulation and
                just the very top was getting cold enough to freeze.

                Oh, and a friend reminded me of something that had slipped my mind. Deep
                space is indeed almost absolute zero, at around 3 Kelvins. However, here on
                earth there is a lot of air between us and space, and that air radiates in
                the IR spectrum, so what we actually see is a bit warmer than that . From
                sea level, the night sky is actually about 203 Kelvins, or -70° C. Still
                pretty cold.

                Maitiú
              • julian wilson
                Dear Listers, great Posting about the solar cooker/cooler, Maitiú the JOAT , especial thanks from me for that.. While on this subject of coolers, and ice, -
                Message 7 of 13 , Jul 2, 2005
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                  Dear Listers,
                  great Posting about the solar cooker/cooler, Maitiú the JOAT , especial thanks from me for that..

                  While on this subject of coolers, and ice, - would anyone care to refresh our collective memories on the subject of historical, low-tech, evaporative cooling?

                  It occurs to me that - as this method apparently only needs 2 earthenware vessels, cloth, and water - we could all use it at our events - all one only needs 2 deep-walled earthenware pots or vessels, [one very much larger than the other, which fits inside it], enough water to fill the space between the two vessels, and two bits of a coarse thick unbleached cloth.

                  I believe what you do is - put the smaller vessel inside the larger on some spacer blocks so that water gets underneath the inner vessel as well as all around the walls; put your dairy products into the inner vessel; wet one section of the cloth and drape it over the inner vessel so that the motuh is coeverd and the ends of the cloth drape down into the water; soak the second larger bit of cloth and drape it across the mouth of the larger vessel, covering all - and apparently evaporative cooling thensubstanitally lowers the temp. of the inner vessel well-below ambient.

                  Our Companie haven't tried this way of keeping things - especially butter & cheese & wines - cool for our Noonmeals at our events yet, because we are still looking for suitable earthenware vessels.
                  This method is also supposed to be as old as Roman Times; when it was said to have been described by Appius, and also by some Military Commentators when talking about the Legions' Commissary matters.
                  Would any Lister who knows more care to add further enlightening comment for all of us?



                  Yours in service,
                  Julian Wilson,
                  [aka. Messire Matthew Baker/Matthieu Besquer, Governor & Castellan of Jersey, 1486-1497: - "Si vis pacem, para bellum"]
                  late-medieval Re-enactor; & Historian and Master Artisan to
                  "The Companie of the Duke's Leopards",
                  [the only medieval living-history Group
                  in "olde" Jersey]

                  ---------------------------------
                  How much free photo storage do you get? Store your holiday snaps for FREE with Yahoo! Photos. Get Yahoo! Photos

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Maitiú the JOAT
                  ... No problem. ... Really only useful in a dry climate. In theory, all wet things cool down until their temperature reaches the dew point, the temperature at
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jul 3, 2005
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                    Julian Wilson wrote:
                    >great Posting about the solar cooker/cooler, Maitiú the JOAT , especial
                    >thanks from me for that..

                    No problem.

                    >While on this subject of coolers, and ice, - would anyone care to refresh
                    >our collective memories on the subject of historical, low-tech,
                    >evaporative cooling?

                    Really only useful in a dry climate. In theory, all wet things cool down
                    until their temperature reaches the dew point, the temperature at which the
                    water in the air becomes so saturated that it comes out to form
                    condensation. The dew point is, depends on both the humidity and the
                    temperature of the air. At 20° Celsius and a relative humidity of 50%, the
                    dew point is at 13° Celsius, not a bad temperature for keeping fruits and
                    vegetables. For more, see the chart:
                    <http://www.matthewtakeda.net/evap_chart.gif>

                    The Egyptians used porous clay pots fanned by slaves to cool water and wine
                    by evaporation, as did the Romans. The water or wine soaks through the
                    porous material to the surface, where it evaporates, cooling the contents.
                    You've probably seen contemporary terracotta water coolers like this one:
                    <http://www.watersavers.com/docs/waterfilter_ep_cooler_terracotta5gdispenser.shtml>

                    Desert dwellers also used skin bags to cool water in much the same way. You
                    may remember, if you are old enough, the use of water bags covered with
                    canvas or other heavy material, by desert travelers in the last century.
                    They were commonly seen hanging on cars in the southwestern US.

                    > It occurs to me that - as this method apparently only needs 2
                    > earthenware vessels, cloth, and water - we could all use it at our
                    > events - all one only needs 2 deep-walled earthenware pots or vessels,
                    > [one very much larger than the other, which fits inside it], enough water
                    > to fill the space between the two vessels, and two bits of a coarse thick
                    > unbleached cloth.
                    >
                    >I believe what you do is - put the smaller vessel inside the larger on
                    >some spacer blocks so that water gets underneath the inner vessel as well
                    >as all around the walls; put your dairy products into the inner vessel;
                    >wet one section of the cloth and drape it over the inner vessel so that
                    >the motuh is coeverd and the ends of the cloth drape down into the water;
                    >soak the second larger bit of cloth and drape it across the mouth of the
                    >larger vessel, covering all - and apparently evaporative cooling
                    >thensubstanitally lowers the temp. of the inner vessel well-below ambient.

                    This is a slightly garbled description of the pot-in-pot method of
                    refrigeration, developed by Mohammed Bah Abba in 1995, for which he won a
                    Rolex Award for Enterprise in 2000:
                    <http://www.rolexawards.com/special-feature/inventions/abba.html>
                    <http://www.rolexawards.com/journal/pdf/journal15-art3.pdf>
                    <http://www.itdg.org/docs/agroprocessing/FC29_34.pdf>

                    Campers through the early 1900s, when camping was still a somewhat
                    heavyweight enterprise, used several methods to keep foods cool. A
                    watertight box sunk partway in a stream or dug into the bank of a stream or
                    pond was one. Another was a similar box buried in the ground, with gravel
                    all around and fabric or pine boughs over top, all kept moist. Yet another
                    was a "spring box," which was construced so that water from a spring
                    entered the box at one end and exited at the other, with the food elevated
                    above the water level. Yet another was a sort of hanging cupboard, with
                    burlap walls, which were kept soaked by dipping the ends in a container of
                    water. I'm sure that most of these solutions had much earlier origins.

                    >This method is also supposed to be as old as Roman Times; when it was said
                    >to have been described by Appius, and also by some Military Commentators
                    >when talking about the Legions' Commissary matters.

                    Although there isn't really any period information, you might also want to
                    look at the History Channel's History of the Refrigerator:
                    <http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/modern/fridge.html>
                    and Gizmo Highway's The History of the Refrigerator:
                    <http://www.gizmohighway.com/history/refrigerator.htm>

                    If you can find it, you also might be interested in looking at Camping and
                    Woodcraft by Horace Kephart. They were published separately in 1916 and
                    1917 by McMillan, then reissued in 1921 as a single volume. He lists
                    several ways that fresh meat, fish, and fowl could be kept for considrable
                    periods. I recall that one method for packing fish (without any ice) noted
                    that such fish could be sent from Maine to New Orleans in August, a journey
                    of at least a two or three days by rail, and arrive fresh.

                    HTH

                    Maitiú
                  • julian wilson
                    Maitiú the JOAT , thanks from me for another very informative posting. And for the URL s to educative web-pages. We shall certainly try applying the
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jul 3, 2005
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                      Maitiú the JOAT , thanks from me for another very informative posting. And for the URL's to educative web-pages.
                      We shall certainly try applying the pot-in-pot cooling at our local Company events this summer, and see how well it works during a Summer in "olde" Jersey.
                      I'd never seen the terracotta water-coolers, nor have I heard of the Rolex Awards or of Mohammed Bah Abba, before you mentioned them in your posting.
                      My vague knowledge of "pot-in-pot evaporative cooling" came from an "ancient-history-buff" older cousin who served with the 8th Army in N. Africa during WW2, and was thereafter posted to Palestine for a 4 year hitch. When home on UK-long-Leave in the late 1940's, before returning to Palestine, he told me about coming across the evaporative method in use in N. Africa - I think it was during a Nile trip on one of his Leaves in Egypt. As best as I can recall, the subject came up while we were discussing ancient scientific discoveries/inventions being "rediscovered", because I was studying for my GCE exams in Physics and in Ancient History.

                      Thanks again for sharing your knowledge with me'us/the List.

                      God's Benison be upon you this Day, and until The Judgement.




                      Yours in service,
                      Julian Wilson,
                      [aka. Messire Matthew Baker/Matthieu Besquer, Governor & Castellan of Jersey, 1486-1497: - "Si vis pacem, para bellum"]
                      late-medieval Re-enactor; & Historian and Master Artisan to
                      "The Companie of the Duke's Leopards",
                      [the only medieval living-history Group
                      in "olde" Jersey]

                      ---------------------------------
                      Yahoo! Messenger NEW - crystal clear PC to PCcalling worldwide with voicemail

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Joannah Hansen
                      Have you tried looking in your local nursery? It springs to my mind that if you are looking for large terracotta pots in various shapes and sizes, that s where
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jul 7, 2005
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                        Have you tried looking in your local nursery? It springs to my mind that if you are looking for large terracotta pots in various shapes and sizes, that's where you will most likely find them.

                        Joannah

                        --- julian wilson <smnco37@...> wrote:
                        <snip>
                        Our Companie haven't tried this way of keeping things - especially butter & cheese & wines - cool for our Noonmeals at our events yet, because we are still looking for suitable earthenware vessels.
                        This method is also supposed to be as old as Roman Times; when it was said to have been described by Appius, and also by some Military Commentators when talking about the Legions' Commissary matters.
                        Would any Lister who knows more care to add further enlightening comment for all of us?




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                        Sluggy.Net: The Sluggy Freelance Community!
                      • byvordhr
                        ... butter & cheese & wines - cool for our Noonmeals at our events yet, because we are still looking for suitable earthenware vessels. ... was said to have
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jul 8, 2005
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                          --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, julian wilson <smnco37@y...> wrote:
                          > <snip>
                          > Our Companie haven't tried this way of keeping things - especially
                          butter & cheese & wines - cool for our Noonmeals at our events yet,
                          because we are still looking for suitable earthenware vessels.
                          > This method is also supposed to be as old as Roman Times; when it
                          was said to have been described by Appius, and also by some Military
                          Commentators when talking about the Legions' Commissary matters.
                          > Would any Lister who knows more care to add further enlightening
                          comment for all of us?

                          Those terra cotta wine cooling vessels turn up at Goodwills and other
                          thrift outlets with fair regularity. They are usually sized for one
                          bottle of wine. One would be suitable for butter or cheese as well.

                          Saeunn
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