Life Before Air Conditioning

As we head into the hot and humid days of August, most of us will be passing the summer days in air conditioning at work and at home.

Air conditioning in the home did not become available for the home until about the 1920’s, and even then it was a luxury for all but the wealthiest of the day. As air conditioning became prevalent and less expensive, the way we worked and lived changed with the times. Prior to this however, homes were designed to keep rooms as cool as possible during the summer months, which included constructing dwellings underground or into the sides of hills. But differences weren’t just limited to architecture. In the days before air conditioning, many people gathered outdoors and socialized with family, friends and neighbors. Many homes were equipped with large porches made for socializing that seem largely absent from the newly constructed homes of today.

The websites Mental Floss and The Atlantic have an informative overview of what life was like before air conditioning and how it fundamentally changed America.

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