Monday, August 20, 2007

Life Before Air Conditioning

Miss Cellania has an interesting post at Mental Floss:

How in the world did people deal with the heat of August without air conditioning? Lots of ways, both time-tested and experimental.

Cooling homes was not the intended purpose when Willis Carrier invented modern air conditioning in 1902. The earliest air conditioners were for industrial quality control; the comfort of the workers was incidental. However, artificial climate control made steel and glass skyscrapers practical. Home air conditioning became widely available after World War II and ushered in the age of suburban tract housing. It also spelled the demise of some old-fashioned architectual details and social customs....

The first social custom she notes graphically is Andy Griffith serenading Aunt Bea....