Beating the Summer Heat

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:

<i>Licking blocks of ice on hot day.</i> Photo by Bain News Service, between 1910 and 1915. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.09814

Licking blocks of ice on hot day. Photo by Bain News Service, between 1910 and 1915. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.09814

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:

<i>Ice water in the park--hot day, N.Y.C. </i> Photo by Bain News Service, between 1910 and 1915. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.09819

Ice water in the park–hot day, N.Y.C. Photo by Bain News Service, between 1910 and 1915. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.09819

These children decided drinking the water wasn’t quite enough, and dunked their heads:

<i>New York City - children on the street: hot weather street scene - boys dipping their heads in fountain.</i> Photo by Bain News Service, between 1908 and 1915. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b18585

New York City – children on the street: hot weather street scene – boys dipping their heads in fountain. Photo by Bain News Service, between 1908 and 1915. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b18585

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:

<i>Battery Park on hot day</i>. Photo by Bain News Service, between 1910 and 1915. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.09816

Battery Park on hot day. Photo by Bain News Service, between 1910 and 1915. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.09816

 Learn More:

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.