For thousands of years, human beings have struggled to beat the heat. While ancient cavemen and early civilizations turned to natural methods to stay cool, modern humans utilize technology and electricity to keep cool. From the first steam-powered refrigeration machine to the ductless mini splits of today, humans have created simpler and simpler ways to keep the heat out through the warm months. You may be surprised to learn that our ancestors put keeping cool at the top of their to-do list, too! However, personal comfort wasn't always their motive. Keeping body and food temperature down was essential to survival.
The invention of the air conditioner has had a profound impact on our lives. For one, cooling in the south became a very big deal. The ability for someone to walk into a store or house and not sweat was extremely important during the summer. Until 1950, there were some people who actually refused to move to certain places if there was no air conditioning. People traveling through the south could now literally walk into a building and immediately have an escape from the heat. Farmers who spent long hours out in the sun relished in the fact that they could now sleep in the cool.
A look back at some historic, pre- and post-World War II air conditioning advertising.