As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners

• As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners

On a daily basis using a number of long-familiar to us things we have not given much thought about where they came from, who invented them, who first began to use, how long ago it was, and as before to do without them.

Take, for example, air conditioning. People living in most parts of Russia, the appliance may seem hateful luxury - with air conditioning, of course, more comfortable, but you can well do without it. But he became a device to change the country for America. About conditioners to say as an air-cooled devices, but the effect of their appearance extends much wider temperature graphs. Due conditioners changed architecture of the buildings, habitats of people and how they live. We can say that the air conditioning has created a modern American way of life.

As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners

Before the advent of mechanical cooling devices people are constantly inventing various options on how to reduce the temperature in your home. Unfortunately, most of them were either ineffective or very expensive. Actively used by ice, but, as you know, it was necessary to regularly purchase that was not affordable for everyone. Ice in winter is produced from frozen ponds of New England and shipped all over the United States, as well as in the Caribbean and even India! Up to a point saved low population density, large number of green spaces and the fact that many towns located on the shores of large bodies of water. In addition, people have been slow to move into the hot southern states. Including why almost all big American cities were built on relatively comfortable accommodation northern part of America.

As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners

Merchant ice. Texas, 1939.

Look at any photo of New York of the early 20th century metropolis, built up high-rise buildings, paved streets, electric lighting, water supply, sewerage, numerous shops and stores operating public transportation, underground and above-ground subway lines, schools, libraries, etc. and cool in the hot summer months was achieved only by means of the sheet of ice, an open window but electric fan. In addition, life becomes much more complicated then adopted a dress code. Long dresses for women, suits and hats compulsory for men. Not surprisingly, many quite strongly smelled of sweat.

As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners

Employees Andrews Paper Co. in summer clothes, Washington, 1917.

Air Conditioning changed American architecture. This has particularly affected the private house building. Before the advent of air conditioning in the building actively used materials such as stone and brick, which last longer and heat, and cold. Ceilings in rooms done up to the hot air going over his head, leaving the inhabitants of the relative coolness of the bottom. Appeared later ceiling fans helped raise the warm air up in the summer and lower it down during the winter.

As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners

Office plankton in 1912. Of devices for cooling fans only on the walls.

Private houses were built mostly bunk. And always settled in the bedroom on the upper floors and used them only at night, opening the windows wide open. All life is on the ground floor. Windows made possible on all sides of the building, to purge the interior. Above the interior doors made special windows that open, which improves air circulation in the rooms.

As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners

Residential buildings in Washington, DC. 1920.

On the south side of the house is always planted trees, created the shadow. And in the summer they were a barrier to sunlight, and in the winter when the leaves fall, on the contrary, passed them in the room. The same was true of the widespread planting of city streets, which are planted trees with spreading crowns, give good shade. In buildings actively using stack effect, making the stairs open and pulling them through a hot air up and out into the street. A small back patio, planted with trees, shrubs and plants, too, had its function. By means of opening and closing certain windows and doors in the house did the cool air from the backyard and went outside the hot air from the premises. Window shutters or thick curtains to avoid heating the room's walls and furniture from direct sunlight. In the houses were necessarily large covered terraces, which were sleeping during the hot summer months.

As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners

house in Georgia, 1944.

Urban residents had worse. During a heat wave, they took refuge in the city's swimming pools and all the available reservoirs. The beaches were crowded. Sleep as they had on the fire escape or even on the street.

As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners

Children bathe in Central Park, 1944.

As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners

The queue for ice-free during particularly hot days. New York, 1900.

Fire hydrants in New York were meant not only to put out the fire, but also in order to cool its inhabitants.

As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners

Children bathe in water from a hydrant. New York, 1939.

Old high-rise building has always had a complex P or H-shaped, so that all the rooms inside were the maximum number of windows. Up until the 40's many windows of New York skyscrapers were equipped with awnings, lockable room out of direct sunlight, but inside many fans buzzed, accelerates humid and stuffy air.

As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners

Flatiron Building, 1909.

Most of the cities in the south, and many cities in the northern United States died out during the summer months. People moved to live in other places. Many went to the ocean, the coast of which was built on apartment-hotel. Capital of the USA in the summer months turned into a ghost town.

As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners

in the block do not actually air conditioning, and a special cradle for the baby.

In order to cool down a little bit, people were ready for hours to ride a double-decker open-top bus or tram, which had windows or open, or completely absent.

As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners

Children licking ice during the hot summer of 1911.

Man Who Changed America, was a 25-year-old Willis Carrier from Buffalo, NY, who worked as an engineer in the Buffalo Forge Company company. Solving the problem of excessive humidity in the building of the Brooklyn printing plant in 1902, he assembled and installed in the basement of her unit, which became the first in the history of air conditioning. But it was not the same compact unit, to which we are accustomed to today, and a huge mechanism, takes up almost all basement. Also in 1902 a system of air-conditioning has ordered the New York Stock Exchange, which established her no longer to solve production problems, and for the comfort of employees working in the building. Then off we go. The first office building with air-conditioning system was Ermor Building in Kansas, Missouri, and each of his room was equipped with individual thermostat.

As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners

Willis Carrier with his brainchild.

The first device for cooling a private house appeared in 1914. Compact it too could not be called. I created it the same Carrier, and established the first home air conditioner in the mansion, Charles Gates, the son of tycoon John Gates, who made his fortune on the barbed wire. It was funny is that Gates' house was located in the capital of the state of Minnesota - Minneapolis - a city in the north of the United States with less than the hottest climates. For a long time due to the high cost and huge size air conditioners were the lot of only big business. Their installed in department stores, cinemas, hotels and similar places. In private homes as they have a very long time is quite rare.

As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners

"Carrier" Air Company, 1928.

The first cinema with air conditioning has become a New York "Rivoli", owned by the famous Paramount Pictures. In 1925, at the suggestion of its Carrier air-conditioned, and ticket sales have increased by several times. The fact is that all of the cinemas have experienced problems during the hot summer months. The audience did not want to sit in the stuffy indoors, which is why even the most popular movies were in half-empty halls, cinemas and suffered heavy losses. Problems disappeared with the advent of air conditioning, and cinemas began to be filled with jam, as people began to go there not only to see the movie, but also to just sit in the shade. This, in turn, changed the time of film premieres and a timetable for their outputs. Many of the paintings began to appear on the screens in the summer, during a pilgrimage to the active movie. The advantage of the air conditioning has become so obvious that in just five years, Carrier air conditioning systems have been installed in more than 300 cinemas across the country. Conditioned equipped offices, shops, hospitals, factories, railway cars and so on. D. They have improved conditions and increased productivity in the summer months. Air conditioners were given the opportunity to travel more comfortably and live in comfort, where before it was impossible to live.

As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners

Cinema "Rivoli", 1925.

In 1931 came the first window air conditioner. Everything would be fine, except that it cost more than some houses. More or less by weight, these instruments became only in the 50s of the last century, and until that time America, and the rest of humanity, somehow got along without them. The advent of affordable air conditioners has revolutionized the real estate market and has changed the demographics of the country. The outflow of population from the southern states, which lasted for the entire first half of the 20th century, was replaced by rapid growth. An active colonization of Florida, California, Texas, Georgia, New Mexico and other states of the US, "Sun Belt". The land around the big cities has become a massively built up inexpensive wooden houses equipped with window units, which together with other factors led to a mass migration to the suburbs and changed America forever. People began to spend more time at home, and television finally tied them to the couch. on the ocean from the first holiday season turned into a week, and then completely reduced to a few days. The need to move on the ocean coast during the hot months has disappeared, which led to the decline and closure of many US resorts such as Coney Island and Atlantic City. At the same moment, cars, airplanes and conditioners made available in the new holiday locations such as Florida, Mexico or the Caribbean.

As people struggled with the heat before the era of air conditioners

The owners of the magazine fan blog The New Yorker newyorker_ru translated for me a wonderful essay by Arthur Miller, tells the story of how life was in the days before air conditioning.

I do not remember exactly in what year it was - in 1927 or 1928, the heat was just crazy in September. She did not fall down even after the start of the school year - we just went back to our house in Rokvey Beach. All the windows in New York were wide open, and the streets were many shopping carts, where you could buy crushed ice or sprinkled with colored sugar for a few pennies. Children, we jumped behind the slow rolling-drawn carts and horses stolen by one or two pieces of ice; ice smelled a little manure, but refreshing hands and mouth. People west of 110th Street, where I lived, there were too prosperous to hatch on their fire escapes, but from the corner of 111th and then, as soon as night fell, people were getting mattresses and whole families, in his underwear, placed on their iron balconies.

Even at night the heat subsides. With a couple of other kids, I was on the 110th to the Park and strolled among the hundreds of people who are alone or families slept on the grass next to a large alarm clock that played a silent cacophony - one clock syncopated with others. Children were crying in the darkness, the men were whispering in low voices, but somewhere near the lake heard the sudden female laughter. I can only think of white people lying on the grass; Harlem then began with the 116 th Street.

Later, in the 30s, during the Great Depression, the summer months seemed even hotter. In the West, it was a time of hot sun and sandstorms, when whole farms affected by drought, were removed from their homes. Oka (residents of Oklahoma), Steinbeck immortalized, made their desperate dash to the Pacific Ocean. My father was then a small production of sewing a coat on 39th Street, where a dozen men worked on sewing machines. Even look at them, working with thick woolen winter coat in this heat, it was for me to torture. Cutters received piecework wages - pay only for the amount of the finished joints, so that their lunch break was very short-lived - fifteen or twenty minutes. They brought food with them: a bunch of radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers and a jar of thick cream. All of this, they were cut to their bowls stored under the machines. Also, from somewhere appeared a loaf of bread made of coarse wholemeal rye flour, which they tore to pieces and wielded like a spoon, scooping vegetables with sour cream.

Men are constantly sweating, and I remember one employee, who was dripping sweat extremely original way. He was a wee lad, who neglected the scissors and end of each seam is always bit off the thread instead of to cut it, so that the thread remnants stuck to his lower lip, and by the end of the day he gets colored beard of the thread. His sweat flowed to these ragged thread and dripped onto the cloth, which he constantly wiping cloth. Given the standing heat from people, of course, the smell, but some smell is much stronger than the others. From one of the cutters it smelled like a horse, and my father, who, as a rule, did not distinguish between the smells (no one knew why), claimed that he could smell the man, and addressed him always with a decent distance. In order to earn as much money, the seamstress worked from 5:30 am to midnight. In the Bronx, he had several apartments, and he owned land in Florida, and Jersey - he looked like a greedy half-crazy guy. He had a powerful physique, straight posture, whipped the hair on the head and black eye shadow on her cheeks. He snorted like a horse, pushing cutter follow a pattern through approximately eighteen layers of material. Late one night he closed his eyes from corrosive sweat eye, holding the material left hand and pressing on the vertical, sharp as a razor blade, move back and forth, with his right hand. Rezanulo blade on his index finger in the vicinity of the second phalanx. He growled angrily, he would not go to the hospital, framed hand with the stump under the water tap, then shook hands with a towel and went back to the machine, sniffing and smelling. When the blood soaked through the towel, my father cut down his machine and ordered him to go to the hospital. But the next morning he was already at work, and again worked from early morning until late at night, as usual accumulating money for new apartments.

At that time there were trains along the 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 9th Avenue, and many of the cars were made of wood, with windows, which, of course, have been opened. Broadway went public trams without side walls, in which you could at least catch the breeze, let it warm. Desperate people, unable to withstand the heat in their apartments, pay 5 cents and aimlessly rode a couple of hours on the tram to cool slightly. With regard to Coney Island for the weekend every stretch of beach was so packed with people that it was almost impossible to find a place to sit down, put your book or a hot dog. For the first time I was confronted with air conditioning in the 60s when staying at Chelsea. The so-called hotel management has set the air conditioner on wheels, which is pretty pointless cooled, and sometimes heat the air, depending on how many jugs of water in it was flooded. When the initial filling of the water, he began to spray water all over the room, so we had to turn his face to the bathroom, not the bed.

One day a gentleman from South Africa once told me that in New York in August is hotter than in any other place known to him in Africa, but the people here for some reason dressed in the northern city. He had wanted to wear shorts, but he was afraid that he would be arrested for indecent behavior.

Terrible heat created illogical solutions: linen suits, which were deep creases after someone bent arm or leg; men's straw hats, hard as matzah, like stiff yellow flowers, blooms every year all over the city in early June. Hats left deep dents in the red men's foreheads and wrinkled suits, which was supposed to be so hot, had all the time to correct it down, then up, then sideways to allow the body to breathe.

In summer the city floated as if in a fog, in which particularly susceptible people kept saying stupid greeting: "too hot, huh? Ha ha. " It was like the last trick before the world will melt in the ocean of sweat.

Arthur Miller