How Belk kept shoppers cool before air conditioning

“[In the late 1800s] fan systems — steam-driven, then electric — became the norm for the well-dressed department store. But they offered little in the way of cooling…. Belk Brothers of Charlotte, North Carolina, maintained a barrel filled with ice water at their store’s front entrance; five tin cups were tethered to the barrel for customer convenience.”

— From “Cool: How Air Conditioning Changed Everything” by Salvatore Basile (2014)


One thought on “How Belk kept shoppers cool before air conditioning”

  1. Enjoy the info on the site. It would be great if you had email notifications of new content rather than just news feeds.

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