An interactive timeline of the history of ice, courtesy of the International Packaged Ice Association? Don’t mind if I do.
Of particular note is the entry from 1945:
Some in the industry recount a long-standing rumor that during World War I, while many husbands were off at war, wives became perhaps too friendly with the accommodating ice man. They say the tremendous success of the home refrigerator was spurred by returning service men anxious to replace the icebox, and thus the ice man who delivered it.
Now I understand the title of the Eugene O’Neill play—and the (blessedly brief) fascination with this dude: