Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2007 (Revised February 2011)

The Ice King

by Tom Nicholas and Sandra Nicholas

Abstract

Provides an opportunity to examine the risk-reward tradeoff and the travails of entrepreneurial venturing in the nascent U.S. economy. Traces the origins and development of Frederic Tudor's Ice Company, a business which developed during the 19th century to hack chunks of ice from New England freshwater ponds and transport it by ship for sale around the globe. Explores how Tudor managed operations in ports as far flung as New Orleans, Charleston, Havana, Bombay, and Calcutta, and how he overcame personal difficulties to create a successful business enterprise.

Keywords: Business Startups; Cost vs Benefits; Entrepreneurship; Globalization; Business History; Operations; Risk and Uncertainty; United States;

Citation:

Nicholas, Tom, and Sandra Nicholas. "The Ice King." Harvard Business School Case 808-094, November 2007. (Revised February 2011.)