13 July 2010

Witness the New Air Conditioner

Circa 1868:

New York is no stranger to brutal heat waves. But thanks to air conditioning, newspapers no longer have to print a daily list of “heat prostrations,” which included dozens of citizens overcome by hot weather. A check of The New York Times archive drew story after story on a specific heat spell, plus a list of people felled by heatstroke.

An article about an 89-degree day in June 1899 listed these casualties:

“Isaac Shapiro, fifty-eight years old, of 292 Division Street, was overcome in front of his home. He was removed to Gouverneur Hospital. “An unknown woman, poorly dressed and about sixty years old, was found unconscious last night at Locust Avenue and 133rd Street by Policeman McGrath of the East 138th Street Station. The woman seemed to have been overcome by heat. She was taken to Harlem Hospital.”


SUMMER ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE:


RETURN TO THE YEAR 2010 and "Global Change's" CALL TO GIVE UP AIR CONDITIONING

The Washington Post has an article about a world without Air Conditioning: "In a country that's among the world's highest greenhouse-gas emitters, air conditioning is one of the world power-guzzlers...A/C's obvious public-health benefits during severe heat waves does not justify its lavish use in everyday life for months on end..." See Washington area boils under High Heat, a nice collage of 36 - washingtonians in the heat.

AND NOW WE RETURN TO 1910

While we're into nostalgia from the early days of New York here are some interesting tidbits. Most of these come from:

Ephemeral New York

Chrown Heights is an antique treasure: Here is Raskins Fish Market still
going strong in Crown Heights, bears the original signage from 1961 with the old phone exchanges. In the SLS-9521 phone number, the SLS stands for Slocum (that's another old story about Brooklyn).

Eastern Parkway was conceived in 1866 as the nation's first Parkway:

Here's how it looked in 1920


The Rebbe's Eastern Parkway today
(by Yehuda Ceitlin/COLlive.com)

JUMP BACK TO THE 1900's

What to do on a sweltering hot day: go to the beach!

When
Williamsburg was a separate city
In 1827, long before it became home to hipsters and Hasidic Jews, Williamsburg was established as the Village of Williamsburgh


Grand Army Plaza's Civil War President

Inside the Memorial Arch is a relief of President Lincoln, on horseback.

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