Last updated: May 19, 2016
On the floor next to the icebox near the kitchen can be seen this pair of ice tongs. For the many early 20th century American homes that used iceboxes before electric refrigerators were widely available, the tongs were an important tool in helping to keep perishable food items fresh longer. When the ice company came to make a delivery, tongs such as these would be used to transport the large blocks of ice from the company wagon or truck into the home's ice box. The sharp points on the tongs' ends would dig into the ice, enabling the ice deliveryman to get a good grip on the heavy, freezing and slippery blocks which could weigh 50 pounds or more each.
This particular set of tongs were not in the house during the Kennedy family's time here, but they are a period-appropriate piece that help give an idea of what life was like for Rose and Joseph Kennedy as they started their family in Brookline in the 1910s.