Despite iPod-strong sales, air conditioning remained a luxury for many years. Newspapers in the ’20s and ’30s were still filled with headlines about thousands of deaths and “prostrations” linked to summer heat. It would be decades before most newly built single-family homes in the United States had A.C. — hard to believe today, when Census data show that about 90 percent of newly built homes are air-conditioned.
So how did ordinary people endure the heat and keep their cool in those days before air conditioning went from extravagance to necessity? –NPR.org » Too Hot? No Cooler Time To Honor The Steve Jobs of A.C..