Refrigerated Air . . . What a Concept!

So it’s one of those “dog days,” and it’s crazy hot here in L.A. The whole country has been roasting this summer, and now we here are heading into our 4th (or is it 5th?) week of unrelenting 90+ degree heat. Seems like all I can think about is water, beaches, and cool air-conditioned spaces.

So that got me thinking thinking about what a true godsend air-conditioning really is . . . and what an amazing novelty it must have been back when it first debuted for public consumption, around the 1930’s or so. Imagine a time when cars and homes had no AC, and cooled or “refrigerated” air was a selling feature for businesses? Motels, hotels, theaters, and restaurants trumpeted their “coolness” with prominent advertisements via neon signs, marquees, placards, and billboards.

Fox Theater in Pomona offers an escape from the heat in 1931. It was the first air-conditioned theater east of L.A.

Here in the 21st century, we only seem to notice when a place of business isn’t air-conditioned . . . especially when heatwaves like this one rage on. So, here’s to the last few days of heat, to the invention of AC, and to memories of summer days well spent!

Venice Beach, c. 1930.


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