Air Conditioning

Remembering those days before it.

I remember sleepless summer nights in southeast Michigan. Our parents did get a window unit for their bedroom, but we sometimes slept outside on the balcony off our bedroom. I would wet a washcloth and put it over my forehead. It wasn’t usually a problem at our cabin up north, though.

But I’d be happy if it was outlawed in DC. A/C was the beginning of the downfall of the Republic, when that fetid swamp became a tolerable place to live for power mongers.

10 thoughts on “Air Conditioning”

  1. The first place of business in my hometown to get A/C was the local barber shop. It was a floor standing unit that got the whole shop (which was part of a row of brick building businesses, now all gone, buildings too) very comfortable. It got so bad in the summer, that the town barber had to kick out the loiterers in order to have enough waiting seats for his paying customers. (That first summer men’s hair in that town was the shortest and closest cut in years.) The pool hall was in the same brick building row but faced the west and was on the north side of the buildings and thanks to next door maples and oak trees, was always in shade in the summer, except for the very front which always had heavy drapes over it, which naturally kept it cool.

    Many homes in my mid-western childhood town had screened in porches, that at night employed table and floor lamps and fans and folks sitting out there reading their newspapers and magazines, some smoking cigarettes and saying hi to the passer’s by. A few homes even had wrap-around porches. Along with careful grooming and placement of big deciduous trees, a lost lifestyle.

  2. Some people like to suffer and they want other people to suffer. People may have AC but in the coming years, not be able to use it due to artificial restrictions on electricity. They like all these stories about coping strategies. And people who buy into it, feel their suffering is proof of sacrifice that will save the planet.

    AC existed when I was a kid but it wasn’t something I lived with until adulthood. I detest people telling me what I do or don’t need and the Progressives just might find that other people feel as strongly about the ability to heat and cool their residence as they see fit as I do. But that is why they want smart grid tech in everyone’s homes.

  3. Before AC there were transom windows and open doors. This created an expectation of quiet speech and controled movement. Now civilization has been replaced by loud radios and louder chatter emanating from hallways of closed doors.

    1. Good point. Reading this article reminded me that it was time to sponge off the dust on the ceiling fan over my bed…. (Dust allergy… *Achoo*). The outside temperature is in the 80F’s just before dawn so the A/C is getting a workout.

      1. What I am saying is that ceiling fans, whole house exhaust fans, white venetian blinds — there are many ‘low tech’ ways to deal wit the heat.

        And ice water, lots and lots of ice water to stay hydrated

        1. Oh I DO remember whole house exhaust fans and the louvers in the ceilings that automatically opened up in the one story ranch houses that employed them!

        2. And ice water, lots and lots of ice water to stay hydrated

          Always having to keep those ice trays filled and chipping the frost out of the tray holder…

  4. The lack of AC in Washington was one of the reasons that the US got involved in what became the Spanish-American War….

    Teddy Roosevelt was the Assistant SecNav at the time. The SecNav left town for the summer, leaving Teddy in charge. He wanted to go to war, and war he got.

  5. I remember hearing that before the invention of air conditioning the British considered their embassy in Washington D.C. to be a hardship posting.

  6. I grew up in St. Louis County, which is known for its wicked summer heat and humidity. I don’t remember living in a house without air conditioning, but I did spend two summers at a camp down at the Lake of the Ozarks. None of the cabins were air conditioned, but all had big window fans which worked reasonably well at providing comfort – not to mention giving me a life-long need for white noise in order to sleep well.

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