These days air conditioning isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity. It’s hard to imagine life before the wonderful world of central air conditioning, but believe it or not, it wasn’t even that long ago that Titusville, FL lived without AC! Take a trip to the past with these facts about the Space Coast before air conditioning.
1851: Before air conditioning, life in Florida moved at a slower pace during the hot summer days. John Gorrie, a doctor from Apalachicola, invented a form of air conditioning in 1851 with his steam-powered ice machine to help feverish patients cool down in his hospital.
1882: Advancements in technology paved the way for what is soon to be air conditioning. In 1882, the electric fan was invented and used to ventilate mines as well as cool factories, homes, hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, courthouses, and barber shops. Owning an electric fan soon become a new fad and represented wealth and prosperity to Floridians and southerners.
1902: It wasn’t until 1902, that the air conditioner was invented by engineer Willis Carrier. Carrier’s air conditioner controlled temperature and humidity. At this point in time, air conditioning was almost strictly used for industrial environments, such as cotton mills, cigar factories, pepper mills, breweries, and bakeries. The cooler environments were better for the tobacco industry as well as the textile industry, but the workers were overall happier and more efficient in the cooler environments.
1960s: Air conditioning was becoming more commonplace in public buildings in the north, but it wasn’t until post-WWII that air conditioning became more common in the south. By the 1960s hotels and motels advertised cool rooms for their guests. This helped boost Florida’s tourist industry and by 1973, 80 percent of cars in the South had air conditioning in them.
Post WWII: After WWII, air conditioning became a huge part of Florida’s culture. Before air conditioning, Florida homes were built to take full advantage of the natural airflow and wind. Most homes were built of wood and on piers to increase airflow from under the house. Homes had giant wrap around porches, large rooms and fans to cool down the house. Trees were carefully and strategically placed around the house to provide shade in the hotter months.
That sounds like a scary and humid time before air conditioning, doesn’t it?
However, some of the pre-AC methods for naturally cooling homes are still great ways to keep temperatures down. Strategic landscaping can increase the value of your home and decrease your energy bills! Check out this link to learn more: Landscaping Tricks for Lower Electricity Bills