These amazing tips about how houses were kept cool before air conditioning was invented in the 1920s.
Homesteaders had to be creative to bring down scorching high temperatures to keep family members cool especially young children and the elderly.
Heat exhaustion could take a toll on a homestead’s work force productive so serious measures had to be taken. In a family history journal, it was read that the women of the household would take flat sheets and dipped them into water.
After wringing them out thoroughly, would then hang them in doorways to add moisture to the dry air. This was repeated throughout the day and evening hours.
The article takes each technique listed below and expands on it in great detail:
~ Drapes – The windows typically had large, thick drapes that could be drawn to further keep the heat out while not restricting light.
~ Porches – Many families had part of a porch screened off as a “sleeping porch” for the very hot days.
~ Cold Baths – They took cold baths in a tub and cold tub would actually help to cool the air in the room.
Ice Cubes – They kept the ice chest full of ice cubes for their drinks
~ Airflow – Natural Breezeway By Opening Certain Windows – Homesteaders would survived the summer by opening the windows in the basement and on the top floor. This would generally create a siphon-effect that kept air flowing through the house.
~ Tall ceilings – Allow the heat in the room rise away from the family.
~ Transoms – Some homes also installed transoms (small windows that open and close) over the main doors. These small windows when opened would allow a cool breeze into the home.
~ Reflective roofs – allowed for the sun’s rays to bounce off the roof and away from the home.
~ Thick walls – Thick walls were used to insulate the homes and keep them cool. Regularly the walls were 12-24 inches thick which blocked the heat from getting in during the day and then provided some warmth in the evening chill set in.
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