During a Washington D.C. summer, it’s a given that it will be hot and humid, and this summer is definitely living up to that standard. While I was thinking about how much I love air conditioning, my attention was caught by these photos, featuring people seeking relief from the heat in a time when air conditioning was a rarity. Take these clever kids in 1910s New York City, beating the heat by licking huge blocks of ice:
When large blocks of ice weren’t available, fountains of all kinds served as a ready source for cooling down. In addition to free water fountains, thirsty people crowded around dispensers to trade one cent for ice cold plain soda water:
These children decided drinking the water wasn’t quite enough, and dunked their heads:
And for many people, just getting out of their homes and finding some shade helped them weather the heat. The large trees in Battery Park in New York offered a good place to escape the summer sun:
- Explore more historic photographs of hot days in New York City from the Bain News Service Collection.
- Speaking of ice blocks, take a look at these images related to the process of ice harvesting.
- View people enjoying the classic summer cool down in these photos of swimming pools from the Farm Security Administration Collection.