What would people do before AC?
It’s hard to imagine life without such a sweet luxury. Especially living here in West Texas we don’t know how we’d survive without some cooling! It might seem as it was forever ago when it was invented, but it was only invented in 1902. Let’s take a blast to the past and see how life was before Air conditioning.
Homes built before the time of air conditioning had special accommodations that some house may or may not have nowadays. Homes often had windows on either side of the room to create a cross ventilation. This brought a small draft to the room and helped with comfort during the summer days. Their summers also didn’t get as hot as it does now, although yes they had spikes in temperature every once in a while. Every year temperatures rise and before 1902, their highs weren’t as severe as they are now. There were also high ceilings in buildings then. Hot air rises so this would allow that air to be as far from the ground as possible.
Another essential to a home was a porch! Yes a simple porch. This was a place they could go rest after a long day and feel a breeze while still being shaded by the overhead.
The Electric Fan
The electric fan was invented in 1882. The icebox was also something that was revolutionary for the people at the time. before this they would have to either eat everything immediately, or buy as needed. Other than ice blocks this was something that helped keep the fans cool. Have you ever seen someone put a block of ice behind a fan? This is so the cold air gets swept up and blown out into the space to cool it. it is also a lot cheaper than other methods of cooling a space at the time.
They Went Outside or Slept
There’s no doubt that when it is hot outside, it will be the same, if not worse inside without any type of ventilation going on. This made the culture a lot different. Nowadays everyone is inside and that’s just the culture. But back then, it was the thing to be out. There were even some porches covered in mesh so they could sleep outside and get a breeze in. What else could you do in the heat of the day? Naps were a great way to be the heat in its peak hours. Once they were over with, people would finish their work and then socialize and shop in the evening when the sun was down.
When air conditioning was new and super pricey, no one could really afford to get one for their home. Most public buildings and businesses still didn’t have it either. But there was always one place that had it, and even to this day they are always super cold. Can you guess what it is? That’s right the movie theaters. People would flock to the movies just for the air conditioning and you guessed it, they made lots of money from people going.
There are many home-made remedies for those who can’t afford air conditioning. Believe it or not but many countries still do not have access to central air conditioning. People have gotten very creative by doing things such as: putting wet towels in the doorway, putting car windshield shades in their windows and even putting their undergarments in the refrigerator. In America, 87% of homes have central air conditioning whereas the Europeans rarely have it. Let me leave you with one question. Put yourself in the shoes of some of the world’s hottest and humid countries. Would you like to do hoe remedies, or stick to central heating and air conditioning systems?