What the Heck Did People Use to Stay Cool Before Air Conditioning Existed?

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Air conditioning is one of man's greatest inventions. I dare you to disagree with me. But what the hell did people use to stay cool before AC existed? Apparently, mountains of snow, windowless sun-side walls, good ol' suffering, and more.

It's pretty impressive that humans have been able to last this long on Earth without AC. Shout out to our much tougher ancestors who've suffered through the dog days of summer without whining. The first documented attempts at controlling the temperature was when the Romans used their aqueduct system to circulate cool water through the walls of their home. Going a step further, the emperor Elagabalus imported snow from the mountains and built a snow stockpile outside his villa (I love the logic of that one).

Hand fans, of course, have always been used throughout history to stay cool but it wasn't until the 1800s where renewed efforts of creating air-conditioning started up again. They tried blowing air through cotton sheets drenched in ice water, created wind towers that could catch and circulate breeze and built rotary fans. It was a crazy period in experimentation! But what finally sealed the deal for AC's arrival was electricity and a man named Willis Carrier. He's the guy who created a machine that sent air through water-cooled coils aka he's the man we should thank for inventing Air Conditioning so we don't have to come up with bat shit crazy ideas like importing snow from the mountains to stay cool. Read more about how we stayed cool throughout history at Slate. [Slate]