Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-16-2018, 03:18 PM
Urbanredneck Urbanredneck is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 6,328
How did your ancestors handle the heat before air conditioning?

Does anyone have any good stories about how their ancestors handled it?

Did any families have a "summer kitchen"? Meaning they moved the stove outside in the summer?

Did people sleep down in their cellars?

Does anyone remember having a true "ice box" and getting ice from an ice man?

Did any families have a summer home?

Anyone?
  #2  
Old 06-16-2018, 03:19 PM
Filbert Filbert is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 4,440
By living in England.


It works.
  #3  
Old 06-16-2018, 03:27 PM
Telperion Telperion is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,318
My ancestors were Scandinavian, so, yeah, probably that. They say that Scandinavian summers are the best day in the entire year. I have no idea how they got through Arctic winters before electric lights and central heating, though; that's bad enough even these days.
  #4  
Old 06-16-2018, 03:29 PM
PastTense PastTense is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 6,523
Suffering through it was the standard approach.

Fans were traditionally used.

The air conditioner was probably the most significant factor as to why Florida grew in population from 2.8 million in 1950 to 21 million now.
  #5  
Old 06-16-2018, 03:55 PM
CharmaChameleon CharmaChameleon is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1,304
I was almost eight years old before we got our first air conditioner in 1959. That was after we moved from the part of town where a fine canopy of old, large trees sheltered houses from the Alabama sun pretty well; everyone in that part of town depended on electric and hand powered fans. (Actually the two mom & pop grocery stores had A/C.)

It was mostly a matter of just sucking it up, taking naps during the hottest part of the day, moving slowly, staying in the shade, and doing as little strenuous work as possible.

The winters weren't a lot of fun, either.
  #6  
Old 06-16-2018, 03:56 PM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 18,806
For kids a lot more time spend in water.

Sleeping downstairs/in cooler areas was also common.

IDK about moving the stove outside, but certainly cooking outside.
  #7  
Old 06-16-2018, 04:11 PM
longhair75 longhair75 is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: omaha, ne
Posts: 2,956
I am 65. The house where I grew up did not have air conditioning at all' We had window fans and just pretty much put up with the heat. I married The Incomparable Sunflower when I was 22, and the apartment we moved into was the first place I lived that had central air conditioning.
__________________
longhair75

(Sister Winifred said I would never learn to type....)
  #8  
Old 06-16-2018, 04:13 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 27,530
By 'ancestors' are you just talking about parents/grandparents/great grandparents? I have no idea how my ancestors from 100's of years ago dealt with the heat, my my parents and grandparents would sleep on the porch or in a living room that had better airflow.

Some house are also designed around not having AC. For example, shotgun houses have a door and window in the front and door/window at the rear. Opening both of them will allow air to flow straight through. Similarly, you can open the windows on either side if the breeze is going that way (again, they're designed for that).
  #9  
Old 06-16-2018, 04:20 PM
Beckdawrek Beckdawrek is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: So.Ark ?
Posts: 7,635
My Daddy's family slept on sleeping porches. The daytime was punctuated with an afternoon break where they all went to pond and swam. He remembered the first ice box they got. Before that perishables were kept in a spring house or down the well.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 06-16-2018 at 04:20 PM.
  #10  
Old 06-16-2018, 04:21 PM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Lincoln Park, Chicago
Posts: 6,533
Ancestors? Heck, *I* grew up without air conditioning in the early sixties. We would run through a sprinkler in the yard, go to the local pool, go to the beach, go to the movies, go to the mall, anyplace cool. At night you slept with the windows open and a fan blowing.
  #11  
Old 06-16-2018, 04:23 PM
svd678 svd678 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 586
My father's house was 1 and a half stories - bedrooms in the attic. They were too hot in summer, too cold in winter. In summer we slept on the porch, one bed and mattress on the floor for me. My uncle was in the curtain/shade business, and the porch had bamboo shades on three sides. When my father had the house insulated he had to add partitions to keep the upstairs from over-heating in the winter.
The old farmhouse next door had a second kitchen with second stove for summer. It also had a two-holer for winter use, with another outside down the walk for the rest of the year. The farmer thought butter-milk from the cool, earth-floored cellar was just the drink on a hot day. Men of the neighborhood cut ice from the mill pond and stored it in the sawdust packed ice house near us. Home made ice cream with local ice was just the thing in July.
  #12  
Old 06-16-2018, 04:36 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 23,458
Quote:
Originally Posted by longhair75 View Post
I am 65. The house where I grew up did not have air conditioning at all'
Yeah, what's with the "ancestor" stuff? My family didn't have air conditioning until I was 11 years old.

The house I live in now, which was built in the 1950s, has a whole house fan, so we can keep a constant breeze going (which makes sleeping a lot more tolerable.) Otherwise, sleep outside.

In addition to what Joey P said, some older house had higher ceilings, transom windows above the doors, big wraparound porches and other features to funnel the worst heat away. Trees close to the house not only provide shade in summer, but can be a windbreak in winter.

The other thing to remember is that people acclimated to the heat. Hell, my grandparents were farmers, and my mother and her siblings literally grew up outside.
  #13  
Old 06-16-2018, 04:49 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 23,458
Quote:
Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
Yeah, what's with the "ancestor" stuff? My family didn't have air conditioning until I was 11 years old.
The house I live in now, which was built in the 1950s, has a whole house fan, so we can keep a constant breeze going (which makes sleeping a lot more tolerable.) Otherwise, sleep outside.

In addition to what Joey P said, some older house had higher ceilings, transom windows above the doors, big wraparound porches and other features to funnel the worst heat away. Trees close to the house not only provide shade in summer, but can be a windbreak in winter.

The other thing to remember is that people acclimated to the heat. Hell, my grandparents were farmers, and my mother and her siblings literally grew up outside. You do as much as you can in the morning (like cooking, which is one reason the midday meal was often the main meal) so you can take it easy during the worst heat.
  #14  
Old 06-16-2018, 04:51 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 23,458
They also conserved energy by not double posting.
  #15  
Old 06-16-2018, 04:52 PM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is offline
Nope! I said stop!
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: North Shore of LI
Posts: 18,927
We did have air conditioning in the house we moved to when I was 9. But my mom kept a basement kitchen, both for overflow holiday cooking and to keep the house cool by cooking downstairs when it was hot out. We ran the AC, but they wanted to keep it to a minimum.
  #16  
Old 06-16-2018, 04:53 PM
Ulfreida Ulfreida is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: the western edge.
Posts: 2,793
Speaking as a child ancestor here, we stayed in the cool concrete basement eating frozen grapes and watching tv.

In earlier times, we burrowed deep into the earth and estivated.
  #17  
Old 06-16-2018, 05:21 PM
Flyer Flyer is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,997
As some have alluded, one big thing that was different was the architecture. Some pioneers lived in dugouts. Even with more substantial homes, traditional architecture was tailored for the climate.

Here's a house from a hot climate.
http://chambersarchitects.com/wp-con...e-Chambers.jpg

Here's one from a cold climate, with lots of snow.
https://artsandcraftshomes.com/.imag...as-a-bread.jpg

The difference is like night and day.
  #18  
Old 06-16-2018, 05:25 PM
sitchensis sitchensis is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: revillagigedo
Posts: 2,549
We closed up the whole house before the sun came up, it wouldn't last all day but closing all the windows and drapes would buy you a few hours. We opened up the whole house when the sun went down. My dad would spray water all over the front porch where we had a big fan blowing in, kind of a fake swamp cooler. Sometimes we went to bed with a damp towel.
  #19  
Old 06-16-2018, 05:32 PM
Desert Nomad Desert Nomad is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Europe/MidEast
Posts: 2,802
I first got air conditioning when I was 25 years old. I lived my first couple decades in Nevada with no air conditioning and lived to tell the tale.
  #20  
Old 06-16-2018, 05:35 PM
drewder drewder is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,047
In the south they dealt with the heat by building very high ceilings. Heat having a tendency to rise and all. Some places they have naps in the afternoon. On the Amazon they'll often spend the day in the water and come out at night. Here in Idaho we open the windows at night and close them when the day gets hot, and with ceiling fans. I don't have central a/c or central heating and we stay warm in the winter with wood fires.
  #21  
Old 06-16-2018, 05:41 PM
Alpha Twit Alpha Twit is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,208
I didn't live in a house with AC until I was fifteen years old 1985. For the most part, we just got through the summers by saying "ehh" and doing what we could to stay cool. For most of the summers, I just lived in the city swimming pool. At nights we just sweated in front of fans.

We did have an old fashioned ice box in the garage that was rarely used.
  #22  
Old 06-16-2018, 05:42 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 19,682
I heard that the southwest wasn't very populated until the appearance of air conditioning in the 50s and 60s. Does anyone know if that is true?

If so, people dealt with it by not living there.
__________________
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion
  #23  
Old 06-16-2018, 05:45 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 38,860
My ancestors wintered in a cave in Florida. During the summer they moved north to a cave in the Catskills.
  #24  
Old 06-16-2018, 05:54 PM
suranyi suranyi is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 7,653
Heck, the house I live in now doesnít have air conditioning. On hot days we stay downstairs and use fans.
  #25  
Old 06-16-2018, 06:07 PM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is offline
Nope! I said stop!
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: North Shore of LI
Posts: 18,927
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
My ancestors wintered in a cave in Florida. During the summer they moved north to a cave in the Catskills.
They sound like they belonged to some... tribe perhaps?

My people belonged to a similar tribe.
  #26  
Old 06-16-2018, 06:16 PM
jtur88 jtur88 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cebu, Philippines
Posts: 14,329
I went to college in Louisiana in the 1950s, there was no AC in any building. Buildings were designed to be usable without being constructed around the AC. Trees were left in place to shade the grounds. Sleeping in the dorms was always comfortable. Even cars had no AC yet, you open the windows and let the air blow through. You dress airy and move slowly. ROTC drill on the parade grounds 1-2pm, in uniform, you just do it.

I lived in Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee through the summers into the 60s, never had AC in my house or car or workplace. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, you just lived in it. Electric fans are helpful. Still you'd hear people fanning themselves saying "Ahd lahk to dahd". The heat was more of a useful excuse for inactivity, than a troublesome cause of it. I loved the South, loud with night sounds, pungent with blossoms. That's all gone now.

I've been in the Philippines for a year, coldest overnight low has been 77 I think. No AC, but with fans, I never feel uncomfortable in the house, where it's always 80+. Few people have AC, many who do hate to use it, they don't like the smell of the AC air.

Last edited by jtur88; 06-16-2018 at 06:20 PM.
  #27  
Old 06-16-2018, 06:29 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 26,803
My ancestors handled it by living north of St. Petersburg. The one in Russia, not the one in Florida.
  #28  
Old 06-16-2018, 06:40 PM
Patx2 Patx2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 3,312
The house I grew up in didnít have air conditioning. My parents had a large wall unit in their bedroom, but rarely ran it, or only ran the fan. We all used fans and if it was so bad that my mom finally cracked and turned it on, I remember crashing on their bedroom floor. That is a trait I did not inherit from my mom. We have central air, and in the summer itís usually always on I cannot stand being too warm.
  #29  
Old 06-16-2018, 06:54 PM
bibliophage bibliophage is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Maine
Posts: 10,350
On my mother's side, one great-grandfather had two houses in the same town. The summer house was in a modestly cooler location across the road from a tidal river not far from a saltwater bay. That house had big screen windows and the kitchen was in a separate small building. The winter house was a few miles inland with small windows and had the kitchen inside the house.

On my father's side, my grandfather--when he could afford it--rented a lake cottage for the family, usually within 50 miles of wherever they were living at the time. The wife and kids stayed at the lake but he often had to stay at home and work except on weekends.

My own father was so cheap he would only air-condition one room of the house, and then only for the ragweed season (mid-August to late September). We lived in a brick house that soaked up the sun's heat during the day and never properly cooled off at night. He was even opposed to using fans because he thought they used too much electricity. Yes, it was miserable. We kids often slept in a tent in the back yard on the worst nights.
__________________
Give me a roll of duct tape and a place to stand, and I can fix the world.

Last edited by bibliophage; 06-16-2018 at 06:55 PM.
  #30  
Old 06-16-2018, 07:13 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 22,221
By using fans and trying not to drown at Horseneck Beach.
  #31  
Old 06-16-2018, 07:30 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 38,860
Quote:
Originally Posted by IvoryTowerDenizen View Post
They sound like they belonged to some... tribe perhaps?

My people belonged to a similar tribe.
What is known about the tribe shows they were a highly ritualistic society with a number practices based on food and telling jokes.
  #32  
Old 06-16-2018, 07:31 PM
kopek kopek is offline
born to be shunned
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southwestern PA
Posts: 12,954
Air circulation. Most of our houses (the one I live in now is circa 1914) actually do pretty well as you have lots of doors and few "blank walls". You can make each floor almost one large room and take advantage of any breeze or night-time cooling you get. My Dad, in our 1950 vintage cheese-box we lived in when I was older, could put one fan on each floor drawing air from the basement and knock even 95+ days down to a not-bad level.

Hot showers before going to bed were another trick we used. I am still surprised how cool 90 felt after getting out of a steaming shower.
  #33  
Old 06-16-2018, 07:36 PM
FairyChatMom FairyChatMom is online now
I'm nice, dammit!
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Southern Merrylande
Posts: 39,341
Ancestors??? My childhood home didn't have a/c. What we did have was a fan in the dining room that my mom would turn on at bedtime, blowing out. We would open the bedroom windows about 3-4" and the cooler night air would be drawn in. If it was really hot, I'd take a damp washcloth to bed and periodically wipe myself down.

You don't miss what you've never had.
  #34  
Old 06-16-2018, 07:44 PM
Beckdawrek Beckdawrek is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: So.Ark ?
Posts: 7,635
My husband's parents had an attic fan. They were very late to air conditioning in their neighborhood. I think he was well into highschool before they got it.
  #35  
Old 06-16-2018, 07:44 PM
Flyer Flyer is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,997
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
I heard that the southwest wasn't very populated until the appearance of air conditioning in the 50s and 60s. Does anyone know if that is true?

If so, people dealt with it by not living there.
Only by comparison to today's population figures.

Mexico, for instance, had more than 32 million people in 1955. That's more than today's population of Florida, Texas, Arizona, etc.
http://www.worldometers.info/world-p...co-population/

I can guarantee that no more than a very tiny handful had AC. And yet somehow they survived.

I guess that I (and some others) are going to have to keep repeating this until we're blue in the face--IT'S THE ARCHITECTURE!
  #36  
Old 06-16-2018, 07:51 PM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is online now
Just Lovely and Delicious
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 24,496
I grew up without air conditioning until I was 12 (1991). We spent the summer at the outdoor pool and had a large willow tree in the front yard that shaded the whole yard and the house.

When I went the band camp from 92-96, our dorms (at Slippery Rock U in Pennsylvania) didn’t have air conditioning. What a crock of shit, especially after marching all day. We took 3 showers a day and everyone had to bring their own box fan (one inside the room and one pointing out the window).

When I bought my house I thought I could live without air conditioning. I could not. Working from home all day without AC is way different than being at the pool all day. I had it installed by July.
  #37  
Old 06-16-2018, 08:46 PM
StGermain StGermain is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Toon Town
Posts: 10,574
I was born in 1961. The house I grew up in (in Michigan) was built in 1891. We didn't have air conditioning until we moved to Minneapolis in 1976. We had radiator heat for the winter and high ceilings, thick walls, window shades and windows that open in the summer. You'd cool the house down at night, then close it up and draw the shades during the day.

My current house was built in 1849. I have one window air conditioner, in my bedroom. I do much the same things we did when I was a kid.

StG
  #38  
Old 06-16-2018, 08:49 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 23,458
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
I heard that the southwest wasn't very populated until the appearance of air conditioning in the 50s and 60s. Does anyone know if that is true?

If so, people dealt with it by not living there.
It's absolutely true. Here's a handy chart that shows the population by state on graphs.


Sure, there were a lot of factors involved in post-WW2 population patterns -- Interstate highways, the growth of the petroleum industry, yadda yadda. But Maricopa County, Arizona doubled in population between 1950 and 1960, and that wouldn't have happened without A/C.
  #39  
Old 06-16-2018, 08:50 PM
Lamoral Lamoral is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Fenario
Posts: 1,796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
As some have alluded, one big thing that was different was the architecture. Some pioneers lived in dugouts. Even with more substantial homes, traditional architecture was tailored for the climate.

Here's a house from a hot climate.
http://chambersarchitects.com/wp-con...e-Chambers.jpg

Here's one from a cold climate, with lots of snow.
https://artsandcraftshomes.com/.imag...as-a-bread.jpg

The difference is like night and day.
There are huts like the second house, all over the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Pacific and East Asian countries.
  #40  
Old 06-16-2018, 09:02 PM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: On the beach!
Posts: 9,198
I've rarely lived in houses with air-con despite living in a region that can see summer temps top 35C for days on end. I don't even recall having a fan as a kid! My ancestors would have been similarly deprived.

Architecture in the Australian outback incorporated large verandahs right around the house that would allow the winter sun in and keep the scorching summer sun OUT. Often these verandahs were enclosed, and provided a cooler place to sleep once the sun had set. One renowned town, Coober Pedy, is famous for 'dugouts' and while they originally were just a space fashioned after an opal mine had been exhausted, nowadays they are quite spacious and luxurious with all the mod cons.
  #41  
Old 06-16-2018, 09:10 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Central NJ (near Bree)
Posts: 28,207
My father spoke about sleeping on the roof of the apartment building. Spent many Saturdays in movie theaters which were apparently cooler at least and swam in the polluted waters of the East River. Other than that, poor NYC dwellers did a lot of sweating.



My Grandfather from southern Italy just didn't seem to mind the heat much.
  #42  
Old 06-16-2018, 09:11 PM
Musicat Musicat is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
Posts: 20,428
My parents and grandparents went from steamy St. Louis to cooler northern Wisconsin for the summer. Not hard to do, since everyone in the family was either a student or a teacher, and when the students grew up, they became teachers.

Before my family got air conditioning (in St. Louis), we lived a lot in the basement in the summer. Since the house was built into a hillside, it was cool, and one side opened to a back yard, so you weren't stuck in a dingy hole. We even had a simple, 2-burner gas cooktop built in to the basement wall so we didn't have to go upstairs to cook.

We had one neighbor who built his new house on the same concept, but his basement was a finished living room, dining room, and kitchen. Bedrooms were upstairs. When you came in the front door, you went down to the living area.

Neighbors had screened porches, and these were often used for sleeping as well as daily activities.
  #43  
Old 06-16-2018, 09:40 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Dayton Ohio USA
Posts: 27,513
I've seen houses built in the 19th century that were designed with passive air conditioning. All the ones I've seen have been 2 story houses which may add to the efficiency of the design. The attics had vents in them and there was a central vent in the upstairs ceiling as well as the ground level floor. The attic acts as a heat pump when the sun hits it. hot air in the attic rises out the vents pulling air in from the ceiling vent. That pulls air in from the ground level floor vent which is cooler cellar air. The cellar is vented to the outdoors so air can be drawn in. You can increase the efficiency of this by running intake pipes underground so that air is pulled through them and cooled to the temperature of the ground. In my area that would be about 56 degrees. The hotter the attic gets the more air is drawn through the house.

If it's a hot cloudy day you could augment the process with a furnace to move air up and out but I haven't seen a house designed this way. This is how tunnels were ventilated for fresh air centuries ago. You would put a heat source in the front of the tunnel fed by a conduit running to the back of the tunnel which forced outside air to be drawn the length of it.

Houses in the desert would use a water system on the outside walls for evaporative cooling but you would need a good source of water and a pumping system.
__________________
"People enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought": John Anderson

Last edited by Magiver; 06-16-2018 at 09:41 PM.
  #44  
Old 06-16-2018, 11:19 PM
Baker Baker is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Tottering-on-the-Brink
Posts: 19,212
During the Depression, when summers in the 30's were so hot, my grandparents told me folks took blankets to the park and slept outside.

Grandma didn't believe in "the good old days" She LOVED her air conditioner whern they were available for homes. She and Grandpa kept that house cold!
  #45  
Old 06-17-2018, 08:09 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Where the wild roses grow
Posts: 24,034
Ancestors? I don't have air conditioning now!

I lived in a cold part of New Zealand. We had maybe a month of decent summer weather each year, and mostly it didn't go over 25įC (77įF) if that. It might mean a warm night, in which case we'd sleep on top of the covers. Otherwise we would just sit in the shadier parts of the house.

I assume my ancestors, who for hundreds of years lived in generally the same region I am from, did the same, even though they lived in flax-woven huts.
  #46  
Old 06-17-2018, 08:33 AM
penultima thule penultima thule is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 2,483
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urbanredneck View Post
Does anyone have any good stories about how their ancestors handled it?
Ancestors?
We didn't get mains electricity until 1963 so this is a current life issue.
We didn't get an air conditioner until the late 80s.

The house are orientated N-S so as to get no direct sun on the windows.
Big verandahs around the homestead, homes with central corridors, external and internal blinds over the windows. 14-20' or more ceilings. Planting big trees like peppercorns on the north and west sides of the house.

On stinking hot nights the members of the family would move around the house to find cooler corners to sleep. One night I recall when it was still over 40C at 2am the whole family was asleep on the front lawn. (The homestead is several miles from the front gate)

The biggest issue was keeping meat, butter, milk etc fresh.
In days before refrigeration we had Coolgardie safes to keep perishables. Some homes had half cellars.
  #47  
Old 06-17-2018, 09:23 AM
Turble Turble is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 2,138
My grandmother had an ice box. She got electricity when the ice man’s horse died and he stopped coming around in the early 1960s. (Tiny remote mountain village in NE PA.)

The house I grew up in was built in 1865. We pulled down the roller shades and closed the heavy drapes on the sunny side of the house during the day in hot weather, then opened the windows (from the top & bottom) at night. When it was just plain too hot to sleep we all wandered out to the screened-in sleeping porch.
  #48  
Old 06-17-2018, 09:55 AM
Baker Baker is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Tottering-on-the-Brink
Posts: 19,212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turble View Post
When it was just plain too hot to sleep we all wandered out to the screened-in sleeping porch.
I always wanted a house that had a sleeping porch.
  #49  
Old 06-17-2018, 10:20 AM
P-man P-man is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Washington, DC area
Posts: 1,392
I grew up in the mountains of East Tennessee without AC, but it didn't hit 90 that often. Ms. P and I lived in a tiny studio in Manhattan with no AC or cross ventilation. I'm usually fine without AC until the team inside the house hits the eighties; with all the trees we have it has to be pretty hot for that to happen (and it actually just happened, so I turned it on).
  #50  
Old 06-17-2018, 10:34 AM
Sattua Sattua is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Close to home
Posts: 9,907
Sleeping porches, shade trees planted near the house, awnings over the windows.

I survived my summer living in a garret apartment in Tuscany by sitting in a bathtub full of cool water, reading books.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:17 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017