Friday, June 21, 2013

Keeping Cool in 1954

Although today is only the first day of summer, it's already been hot enough a few times during the spring to turn on the ol' AC. Even we've had it on already a couple of times – and if you've read this blog for a while, you know how much the spouse dislikes air conditioning.

But back in June 1954 – when the above ad ran in the Lorain Journal – most people didn't have air conditioning yet. Thus it was necessary to use a fan like the one our old pal Reddy Kilowatt is pampering the guy with in the ad to keep cool.

I've already mentioned in this blog (here) how we used these fans in our bedroom when we were kids in the 1960s. (I'm still surprised we didn't have a gruesome accident with one of these things.)

Strangely enough, the Westinghouse appliance brand was eventually spun off the main company according to this Wiki entry. Here is the website, and although you can no longer purchase a brand new Westinghouse tabletop fan like that in the vintage ad, you can still purchase a Westinghouse brand ceiling fan for that retro feeling.

And speaking of Westinghouse, we bought a Westinghouse digital TV last year. So whenever I turn it on, I get to see the classic Paul Rand-designed logo (at left) for a few seconds.

We graphic designers (and I use the term loosely) are into these kinds of things.


Anonymous said...

Doesn't $16 sound expensive for a fan back in the 50's. They even offered 2 year payment plans for it. By comparison, Walmart has over 100 different fans for the same price in 2013. Just shows how much manufacturing costs have dropped over the years.

-Alan D Hopewell said...

My brother stuck his fingers into a "breeze box" fan when he was five; thankfully, it was running at "low", or he might've lost a few fingers.

This week, we've been between 90-95 degrees high eveery day, so you know our AC is 2 am, it's still 80 or so.

Drew Penfield said...

Growing up in a house without AC certainly prepared me for living in Texas as an adult. Many summer days there was a fan running in every room of the house. When I was 14 my bedroom was moved to the second floor, which had previously been just the attic. I had to put a fan in one window blowing out, and a fan on the opposite side of the house blowing in to create a bit of a wind tunnel to keep cool. My parents didn't get AC installed until after I had moved away. When I visit now it feels a little odd to sleep in my old bedroom with the windows closed and cool AC blowing.