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#1 Posted : 13 January 2018 09:07:09(UTC)

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Joined: 25/11/2016(UTC)
Posts: 679

The first patent , for an air conditioning system, was held by Frederick Jones (1892 - 1961) He held over 60 patents, with most of them associated with refrigeration, of some sort. His portable refrigeration units were used, during WWII, to preserve medications and blood serum.
Back when Texas was first settled, people built log cabins with siding, over them, for insulation. It not only kept out the Winter cold, but also provided a barrier for Texas' terrible Summer heat.

The common design, for these log cabins was a "dog trot" or "dog run" type of home. These houses got these names by facing North and South and having a front and back door (usually a pocket type door) that were aligned, so the doors could be left open to catch the Summer breezes and let them blow through the home. In addition to the wind blowing through, it also allowed dogs, cats, chickens, children and sometimes horses and cattle to run right through. This was a fairly effective, though messy, form of air cooling.
Some people opted to build their houses, mostly underground...think cave! This was an effective means of controlling their indoor termperature because caves maintain a constant tempertaure of 50 degrees fahrenheit, both Summer and Winter.

Other people built into the side of a hill and built the exposed walls of stone, brick or adobe. Throught the contact with the earth, these homes still maintained a comfortable climate , year 'round.
As civilization progressed, and towns and cities were built, homes were built with split levels qand had high ceilings, taking advantage of the fact that hot air rises. Open stairwells, turrets and towers also collected the heat, sent it upwards and allowed it to leave the house.
People planted shade trees on the East and West sides of their homes to shade them from the intense Summer sun, these trees also cooled the breezes.

People put awnings and outside window overhangs to deflect the suns heat.
This is where the "front porch" originated. Many people sat on their porches to catch a cool breeze when it was unbearably hot, in their homes.
Wealthier people built screened sleeping porches, off their bedrooms, to excape incredibly hot second or third floor bedrooms. Poorer people slept on their front porches.
Eventually, as time went on, the rich just went North to somewhere cooler to escape the Texas Summers.
The rest of us just had to learn new ways to keep from getting what used to be called "prostration".
Before the "ice box" families would get creek water and put their milk and cheese in a bucket with the cold water, changing it every couple of hours. The bucket was hung in the coolest, shadiest part of the yard.
The ice companies did breakneck business, most of the year. They were selling to soda fountains, for drinks, and later to families for thier "iceboxes". Ice cream parlors were jammed ("The little Creamery in Brenham" started making their Blue Bell ice cream in 1907).
State and Federal workers were let off work early on especially hot days. On days of less that 100 degrees fahrenheit, they were told to tie handkerchiefs around their wrists to catch the sweat before it could drip on the governemtn paperwork. Keep in mind all the clothes that men and women wore, during this era. Both wore long sleeves and women had three to four layers of clothing. Both men and women wore high collars.

The ranchers and cowboys had it a little better, they could wear their "cowboy "hats to keep off the sun and wet their neckerchiefs in cool water and tie them around their necks to cool off.
In 1901, Alexander Graham Bell predicted a future where people could control household temperature, in Summer and Winter alike. For Summer , he suggested that a system of metal coils containing a liquified gas would be the best way to go. In 1902 Willis Carrier invented a system similar to the one that Bell had described, but it was first available only for industrial quality control (he wanted to stop the paper from curling in a Brooklyn Print Shop).
Hand-held fans played a big part in Texas Summer cooling. Paper fans seemed to be available everywhere. They were free at the Feed Store, at Churches, the Pharmacy and at the local theater.
Country people found water holes to swim in (being very careful to avoid water moccasins), built outdoor wash houses, hosed down their houses two or three times a day. It seemed that everyone had a different way of cooling off.

When "Cooled Air" finally hit Department Stores and "Picture Shows", people spent the hottest days sittng in a "Cooled Air" theater watching the same movies over and over to stay comfortable.
After WWII, when builders started to put Air Conditioning Systems in homes, architects no longer worried about temperature control, so building styles with high ceilings, big windows, open stairways and turrets, faded out of fashion.
Now, in Texas, Air Conditioning is a way-of-life. Just about every home has Central Air for air cooling and air dehumidification.
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