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Old 06-25-2012, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Murphy, TX
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I have been wondering how did people up with summer heat in Texas before A/C was invented? People sure have lived in Texas for hundred of years before A/C or even electricity was around. Did they have some secret to keep them cool from the summer's heat?

Without A/C, even inside the house it get pretty very hot, just like the garage! Honestly, I can't imagine living in this area without A/C keeping cars / buildings cooled off. In fact, could Texas actually have had this huge population growth if some form of A/C didn't exist?

I think people in Texas got be really thankful for having A/C!
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:59 PM
 
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For a couple of years when I was younger, my family could not afford to run the A/C. We survived. People acclimate. I was out and about in 100 degree weather yesterday and, surprisingly, did not feel hot. I don't know if there is something wrong with me, but I've been in South Texas almost my whole life and the 100 degree weather doesn't seem to bother me much anymore. I get hot when it's real humid, though.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
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People both acclimated, and they built houses that were more in tune with the climate than houses are today.

We live in a house that was built early in the last century, and then moved out here to the ranch in 1970. The house has windows that open, that are placed so that breezes will go through easily. The ceilings are high to allow the heat to rise. Whoever moved it out here placed it carefully to take advantage of the prevailing breezes. There are wide porches front and back (sadly not a wraparound porch which would be even better) to shade the windows from the sun. Plantings were done to provide shade from the hottest part of the day.

Most years we don't turn the AC on (and then it's window units) until mid-June to early July. (Last year was an exception, and we turned it on a couple of days this spring, not sure why, my husband did it.)

But I also don't feel really not until it gets up to 100 or more, usually.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Edmond, OK
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Windows and fans, that's how. We didn't have a/c in our house until I was in the 2nd grade, also that was about the same time we got our first car with a/c. I didn't attend a school with a/c until I was in junior high. That was in 1971 in Dallas.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:42 PM
 
592 posts, read 792,639 times
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- office buildings had canopies shading the sidewalks. Residential houses had covered porches

-building layout encouraged cross breezes

-building layouts allowed hot air to escape. Hot air rises so they vented to interior to the outside to keep the cool air in.

-they utilized fans and porches

- the city centers were more dense and the buildings were closer together and more integrated with nature. This kept things cooler. Today's wide 'concrete' streets create a 'heat island' scenario making it hotter.

I personally think that EVERY BUILDING in an urban area in Texas shoud have a canopy shadign the glazing of the building and the sidewalk below. Yes, every single building in a downtown area.

A perfect example of this is the Rice Hotel in downtown Houston. Those canopies are there because they made sense. Somewhere along the way, architects, developers, and city planners lost their common sense.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Dallas,Texas
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Older schools in Dallas had ventilation windows above the classroom door and at the top of the classroom wall. When the exterior windows were opened the air traveled through the window out into ventilation windows. As the air traveled though the building it cooled slightly, helping cool down the building. Classrooms were also centered around courtyards so that every classroom would be able to open the windows for air. Now, the schools have A/C. Since the school didn't have A/C the ceiling was drastically lowered to house the A/C duct. (That's why the ceiling height is higher in the classroom and not in the hallway) The ventilation windows are still there but they have a huge vent running through it.

In this picture you can see the boarded up vent window above the door. If you look along the hall to your left you can see the cut out of the ventilation window. Now the ceiling covers up more than half of it.

(Not my picture)

South Oak Cliff High School, Dallas, Tx


Here's an aerial picture of the courtyards

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=South+...h&deg=270&z=19

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Oliver...ius=15000&z=19

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Boude+...as&deg=90&z=20

Last edited by Dallaz; 06-25-2012 at 08:08 PM..
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Edmond, OK
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Yep, that's pretty much what my elementary school looked like.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Dallas,Texas
5,814 posts, read 8,499,684 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debzkidz View Post
Yep, that's pretty much what my elementary school looked like.
Yea, a vast majority of the schools in Dallas looks like this.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:32 PM
 
3,047 posts, read 5,142,506 times
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We never had A/C when I was growing up. I remember a little (actually tiny) black oscillating fan that we had in the bedroom. Sure, it got hot, but to us it was summertime and therefore suppose to be hot.

I remember playing outside barefoot and running across the roads with the tar bubbling up. LOL think the soles of our feet weren't tough?

We got a swamp cooler when I was about 8 and I thought we were in hog heaven. I remember when I was around 12 we moved to the country and we pretty much spent the summertime days outside riding horses, swimming or any other type of outdoor activity that we could find to do. We'd go to the house and get something cold to drink and take it outside to drink it under a shade tree and cool off. I remember begging Mother to let us turn on the sprinklers, so we could run through the water. LOL If it was up to us kids, we would have kept the sprinklers running all day.

When I was in high school we got window units. Dang, I felt like we were rich.

I never attended any elementary, jr. high, or high school with A/C or any type cooling that I knew about except some oscillating fans. The schools were built around a court yard so there was always windows on one side of the classroom, so depending if you were on the north or south side decided if you were going to get a breeze through. It was hot, but we made it. Now when I was in high school they brought in some temporary buildings and let me tell you, those were a different story. They had a lot of windows, but even with all the windows open they were very hot.

My first experience with central air was when I moved out from home into an apartment. Wow! How nice it was!

I think it all boils down to what you are use to. Good grief, I think it would kill me now to go without A/C.

I will add that I think people lived differently back then than they do now. I remember the entire family sitting outside at night after supper until time to go to bed. Sometimes we'd have friends/neighbors over and make ice cream or eat watermelon iced down in #3 washtubs of ice. Other times, we kids would play and Mother and Daddy would sit and talk. I think people went to bed earlier and got up earlier than a lot of people do now days. It was just a different way of life.

Last edited by lonestar2007; 06-25-2012 at 08:43 PM..
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Edmond, OK
4,033 posts, read 10,020,437 times
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The first house Hubby and I bought, in Midland, was one that was built in the early 50's, originally without a/c. Now by the time we bought it, it had been retrofitted with central a/c, but it had all the big windows for cross ventilation and screens on all the doors. It had nice big trees all around it to help keep it shady. I just loved that house because I would get up early in the morning and open all the windows and doors and turn on the fans. Even on the hottest days I wouldn't need to close the windows and turn on the a/c until usually pretty close to noon.
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