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Foto Friday: Fan Time

July 22, 2011

old technologies, ice cream, Philadelphia, I honestly don’t know how my great-grandmother survived wearing layers and long skirts, in the days before air conditioning.  How did she cook on a day like today, when the temperature has already reached 90 and it’s not even 9 am yet?

My grandfather told us about getting up in the wee hours of the morning, before sunrise, to open up the ice house, load the wagons and get the ice repacked in sawdust before it melted away.  About how, while waiting between wagon loads, they’d collapse on the ice and rest.  With temperatures like these, how can it be possible that when they opened the doors they did not discover a pond where ice was supposed to be?

I can’t really imagine it, though I come close when I go to Franklin Fountain.  The long list of ice creams promises a brief respite from the heat.  The fans overhead create a soothing breeze.  I’m thrown back in time, and as I taste the black raspberry cone, I think of my great-grandmother and decide, if she can stand it, so can I.  (Then I rush back to the respite of modern air conditioning.)

(The secrets of life without air conditioning revealed.  Hint:  Think smart architecture and my great-grandparents’ front porch. All lessons for a world talking “green” and “sustainability.”)

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 24, 2011 8:16 am

    Good post and thanks for the link about life without air conditioning. I think that’s one of the best things about historic buildings – no A/C needed!

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