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Friday, July 14, 2017

Summertime In Washington

Today, here in the Washington, D.C., area, we should all be singing the praises of American capitalism!

One of my Facebook finds:

Read more about Willis Carrier HERE.

Willis Carrier didn't change the weather, but he gave us the means to cope with these hot-as-Hades days.  Long live American ingenuity!

Quotation from 1921 Ford calendar card from the Dave Thomson collection

Once again...Long live American ingenuity!

And long live American capitalism!


  1. You made me think of the capitol and it's more primitive "air conditioning" systems design by John Gorrie

    1. Ice Houses, anyone? Maybe I need to move to Thoreau's "Walden"! ;)

    2. FJ,
      That's a fascinating link about air conditioning.

      And, yes, blocks of ice help.

      I'm enjoying the ice houses link, too. Brief excerpt from that one (I'm drinking iced tea right now!):

      ...[T]he commercial development of ice cooling is peculiarly American. Even in colonial America drinks would be served with a block of ice.

      In 1637 Sir William Berkeley, governor of Virginia, was granted a patent “to gather, make and take snow and ice and keep the same in such pits, caves and cool places as he should think fit.” This patent gave him a monopoly on the sale of snow and ice in Great Britain for the next fourteen years. The monopoly was renewed by King Charles in 1665.

      Ice-houses became an essential part of American culture. In New England, eighteenth-century farmers cut ice from local ponds and rivers to preserve their apples and vegetables in underground ice-houses. In 1792, Thomas Jefferson subscribed to the ice service in Philadelphia of James Oeller's Chestnut Street Hotel for a shilling a day. Oeller’s hotel had a tradition, noted by British visitors of serving punch with a block of ice....

    3. Here's the story of a man who shipped New England ice to Calcutta in 1833


      I remember reading a paperback about him when I was traveling around the Middle East. The pax terminals would have books laying around and being an avid reading I would always be on the lookout for a good one.

    4. SF,
      Frederic Tudor became a millionaire through his marketing and selling of ice. Quite the American success story!

    5. Both of my grandmothers and all of my great aunts had ICEBOXES in their kitchens. It was my mother's job, as a little girl, to keep the drip pan emptied each day –– a serious responsibility in those faraway days.

      Blocks of ice covered in sawdust were brought to each house by The Iceman who drove a horse-driven wagon to make his deliveries.

      People of that generation had OUTHOUSES in the country and outdoor PRIVIES in the City. The odor was kept down by frequent applications of QUICK LIME, but even so it must have been profound by today's standards. Keeping the mountains of horse manure at bay in the public streets, many of which were not paved, did not make "deodorization" of the atmosphere any easier. PHEW!

      My mother, who was born in 1913 in New York City, was the youngest of eight children.She had clear memories of "the little mans with the ladder who walked the streets every evening to light the GAS LAMPS" which then lit the streets of New York. Each one had to be lit individually, then shut off each day at dawn.

      Mother's stories about "the olden days" fascinated me as a child. She never spoke about the negative aspects of the way our family used to live. That may have been, because gaslight and iceboxes were phased out along with horse-drawn vehicles, and flush toilets and sewers came in before she finished high school.

  2. We never had Air in our home...my mother claimed it was "drafty!" -- I smile thinking about those hot nights with just a fan. We are indeed blessed.

    1. Bunkerville,
      We never had Air in our home...my mother claimed it was "drafty!"

      My mother was the same way -- until the last four years of her life. FINALLY she then allowed A/C.

  3. Watching the GOOP liars and chiselers squirm and flail, I can't help but be amused at witnessing slimy reptilian politicians impaled upon their own talking points.

    The GOOP politicians are immolating themselves on a pyre of their worthless campaign slogans and broken promises.

    Like witnessing a gang of firebugs trapped in a burning building they set fire to, its hard to suppress the urge to chortle.

  4. My AC is out right now-aaagggggh!!!

    1. Jon,
      My sympathies!

      Must be miserable there.

  5. Haven't used the AC in over a year.
    Trees, windows, fans.
    But the worst hasn't hit yet and I hope I'm prepared.
    Maybe I'll fire it up tonight.

    1. Ed,
      The heat index here was over 100 yesterday.

      Today feels even worse -- in this brick and plaster house, which morphs into an oven this time of year. No central A/C, but rather window units.

      These window units don't keep up well on days like this.

      Especially the A/C unit in the master bedroom. That unit is the "Al Gore Model," and cut off when the sensor reaches 80 degrees. The rest of the bedroom is roasting! I woke up in puddles of sweat this morning. The Merry Widow has bought me the gift of a new window unit for the bedroom. Once Warren arrives, we'll install it.

  6. It seems that some think we ARE doing something about the weather, only they are not happy about it.

  7. Just got back from Cancun and Cozumel. It's hotter down there - (((TC)))

  8. America invented over 60% of anything worthwhile in use today to make people's lives better. I say 60 because Germany did put some things forward.

  9. Wonderful tribute. It's usually pretty nice here, but we have our days when we wish we had AC - like a week ago.

    1. Astonishing that you don't have air conditioning, Baysider. I thought virtually every member of the American middle and upper classes did –– and most members of the lower classes too.

      Even if you don't feel the need for it most of the time, it's a good thing to have in place once the Dog Days arrive.

      Well, I'm sure Al Gore is smiling on you as you swelter away, since that is his apparent desire for all Americans. ];^)>


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