On this day, the ship Tuscany, which had sailed from Boston for Calcutta with a cargo of 180 tonnes of ice, reached the city, with more than one-third of the ice having melted. The ice was a wonder for Calcuttans. Many gathered to watch the large ice cubes being unloaded. One person in the crowd apparently asked if ice grew on trees in America.
The ice business belonged to Frederic Tudor from Boston, who came to be called “Ice King”. He could successfully export the ice after the invention of superior ice-harvesting technology. For the next three decades or so, Tudor made several millions exporting ice to Calcutta and other Indian presidency towns. The superior quality of his ice endeared him to the authorities and often obtained for an American great privileges from the British on Indian soil, including duty waivers.