The Hygeia Ice Company, located in the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City, was incorporated in 1912. This handsome salt-glazed stoneware jug is incised with the company name; the printing is very precise, which indicates a metal die was probably used. The body is beehive shaped, hand made of grey clay and given an arched, C-shaped handle. The only decoration is an inscribed ring on the neck and the beautiful orange peel surface from the salt glazing. This 2 gallon jug stands 12 inches tall, about 7 inches at its widest and weighs 5 pounds 9 ounces. Its condition is excellent; there is one shallow chip on the bottom but no cracks and the cork that's wedged into the mouth is not the original.
The Hygeia Ice Company produced manufactured ice, also called plant ice, freezing water with mechanical equipment, rather than harvesting natural ice. It was the nation's largest cold storage locker and the first artificial ice plant in the area. They advertised the ice was made with distilled water for purity. Their equipment was used to create Utah's first ice skating rink and a heated swimming pool. Hygeia was the Greek goddess of good health, cleanliness, and sanitation and many other companies adopted the name, including ones that made things like chalk and baby bottles.
This stoneware advertising jug is both decorative and a fine piece of history.
© Linda Henrich
Photos By: Wayne Henrich