Cramp on, Cramp off

Ice cleat, Islesboro, ca. 1860

If you’ve ever taken a spill on a icy driveway or sidewalk, you can appreciate the value of today’s Maine Memory Network mystery artifact. While the modern crampon offers a multi-studded platform to grip the ice wherever you step down on it, ye olde ice cleat–also known as an “ice creeper”– provided a single area of protection.

This ca. 1860 cleat from Islesboro may have been used by someone in the ice industry–which flourished in a variety of areas in Maine before the advent of refrigeration.

“Ice cutting and Ice Houses on the Bombahook” tells the story of one such area. The exhibit was created in 2009-2010 by adults and students on the Hallowell Maine Community Heritage Project team.

About mainechp

Maine Community Heritage Project at Maine Historical Society
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