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5 Ways Americans Beat the Heat Before AC Was a Thing

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5 Ways People Stayed Cool Before Air Conditioning Was Invented

Since ancient times, people have had to endure the harsh rays of the sun during the hot summer months. For centuries, before an American engineer named Willis Carrier invented the modern air conditioner, people had to get creative to keep themselves comfortable. It wasn’t until after World War II that it became common to have home air conditioners, so people kept cool by shifting their schedules, eating ice cream, changing their clothes, using fans, and going to the movies. Architects, farmers, wealthy ladies, workers, and kids all made the best of things and found inventive ways to survive the summer. Here are five things Americans did to stay cool before 1950.

1. Water Fountains

In the early 1800s, Americans began building public fountains in New York gardens. As the region’s population grew, city water systems became more common, and fountains became a way to show that the people valued beauty, health, and sanitation. By 1842, the Croton Reservoir aqueduct was providing New York City with a ready supply of fresh water, and soon, there were large outdoor drinking fountains and pools all over the city, from Central Park to Union Square to the large circular fountain in Washington Square Park, which was built in 1872.

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