The Way It Was


Published:

1915 Each summer adults try to concoct fresh ideas on how to beat the heat. But these children arrived at a simple yet practical solution: getting doused with a watering can. In fact, this image looks like a precursor to the modern Ice Bucket Challenge, in which celebrities drench themselves with ice water to raise funds to combat the neurodegenerative condition ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease. The photo here was taken years before air conditioning became common in homes, offices, and autos. Willis Carrier invented the electrical air conditioning unit and put it into practice in 1902 in order to regulate the temperature and humidity at a printing plant in Brooklyn, N.Y. However, the first time air conditioning was used in a widespread sense for human comfort was right here in Detroit. In 1924, three Carrier centrifugal chillers were installed at the J.L. Hudson department store, delighting shoppers (and employees). Once the public was wrapped in that refreshingly cool embrace, there was no looking back. But it would be decades before the luxury of air conditioning would be considered a ubiquitous social necessity whenever people went indoors. Still, a good soaking of cool water on a scorching day seems so much more fun.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

The Way It Was

Aretha Franklin, 1980

An Hour with ... Carmen Harlan

Broadcast journalist and founder of the Carmen Harlan Collection

God-Given Talent

A local choir sings its way to live television

The Sincere Storyteller

Broadway fans will soon learn, playwright Dominique Morisseau’s work is unapologetically Detroit

Do Good

The Greater Detroit Philanthropy Awards are back with eight new recipients
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Best Dressed 2018
    Pulling back the curtain on this year’s selection of the region’s most stylish denizens
  2. Keeping Up with Sheefy McFly
    The multitalented visual artist and musician is ubiquitous in the Motor City
  3. Gathering Spot
    Eastern Market restaurant finds its groove after a rocky beginning
  4. Excellence in Care: Beaumont Health
    Hour Detroit presented Beaumont Health with an Excellence in Care Award for this extraordinary...
  5. Food Recipe: Barbecue Mac & Cheese
    Vast Kitchen and Bar executive chef, Jordan Gillis, upgrades the comfort staple
  6. Sanctuary for the Senses
    Castalia in Midtown offers a cocktail experience unlike any other
  7. Excellence in Care: St. Joseph Mercy Health
    Hour Detroit presented St. Joseph Mercy Health with an Excellence in Care Award for this...
  8. Deeply Rooted
    Influenced by their ancestors, Native American artists celebrate indigenous culture through...
  9. God-Given Talent
    A local choir sings its way to live television
  10. The Sincere Storyteller
    Broadway fans will soon learn, playwright Dominique Morisseau’s work is unapologetically Detroit