KENOSHA — The Kenosha History Center, 220 51st Place, opened two new exhibits — “Kenosha Ice Harvesting” and “AMX: A New and Bold Direction.”
As the 19th century drew to a close, a boom industry began to explode in Kenosha County. Ice was a necessity of modern life. It cooled food in the home, preserved meat and goods as they transited the national rail network, and enabled beer to be brewed year-round. As Chicago expanded and became more polluted, local ice sources became less usable. Kenosha ice, however, was clean, clear and nearby.
Feeding Chicago’s meat processing industry, ice from Kenosha was valued across the Midwest. Lakeshore land became a premium which was eagerly bought by large ice companies. A dense array of railroad spur lines spun around the county, but it was short-lived. As quickly as the ice industry boomed, it busted. The skeletons of the ice industry are still apparent in Kenosha County. The exhibit runs through 2018.
In 1968, American Motors Corp. introduced a production model based on their experimental concept cars of two years earlier. The car, a two-seater sports car modeled on a shortened Javelin chassis, was a rival to, and often a match for, the Corvette: the first domestic competitor in a decade. Richard “Dick” Teague, AMC’s lead designer, believed that design was focused on the personality and charisma of the car itself.
For the golden anniversary of the AMX in 2018, the Kenosha History Center brought together an array of AMX models across 12 years of automotive history, including two one-of-a-kind prototypes. The exhibit runs through September.