This article explores how a focus on commodities, and associated ‘follow-the-thing’ methodologies, might help nuance and deepen traditional historical narratives of the natural-ice trade between Norway and Britain in the 1850–1920 period. The article outlines these approaches and their potential to prompt richer understandings of the broader social impacts of the extraction or production of commodities, and their sale and consumption. This approach suggests that a more extensive, encompassing engagement with commodity flows and their wider social and cultural imprint could allow a clearer sense of how commodities helped to constitute the modern world. In turn, more fine-grained appreciations can be generated of the entwined historical processes and social impacts that shaped the rise and fall of natural ice as a commodity.
Atkinson, D. (2022). Following the icy thing: When natural ice was a commodity. International Journal of Maritime History, 34(1), 113-122. https://doi.org/10.1177/08438714221083345