An enlarged viewing of this summertime 1928 photo reveals at least three young women seated atop the Bay City Freezer, Inc. self-propelled parade float that advertises “Pure Ice.” The float is decorated with ice blocks, an igloo, a polar bear, and Eskimo-like figures and is passing by Bay City Decorating Co., 410 Washington Avenue, Bay City. The driver of the float cautiously maneuvers it by watching straight ahead through a hole in the float’s front base wall.
The photo depicts a sunny, milder day. Sunrays illuminate the float and glisten off the shiny headlamp of a parked 1920s black auto. Some viewers standing near the bricked street installed after the turn of the century wear long-sleeved white shirts and long white dresses.
In this year before the 1929 stock market crash, Polk’s Bay City Directory records 60,000 people residing in Bay City, with 85 percent home ownership. The directory states, “Banking figures show Bay City leading the state in per capita savings and Christmas savings funds.”
A 1926 city directory reveals Saginaw Bay fisheries reporting yields of about 9,000,000 pounds of fish yearly. Bay City Freezer, Inc., managed by Frank W. Jennison, served both wholesale and retail customers at its office and plant at 1st and Johnson streets. Customers could contact office staff by phoning 2770. Products and services advertised are “pure manufactured ice, natural ice, fish freezing, and general cold storage of all products held below freezing point.” The ad warns customers, “It is cheaper to buy ice than to spoil food.” And the affiliated Petersen Rapid Freezing Systems advertises, “Our systems freeze fish quicker and better than any other freezing system invented.” Photo courtesy of Phyllis Pfund, Bay County.