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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Mormon Fridge: 1940

Mormon Fridge: 1940

April 1940. " 'Mormon refrigerator' used by caretaker at Tonto National Monument, Gila County, Arizona. Water placed in tin container on top drips over the burlap and rapid evaporation in the atmosphere produces the cooling effect." Photo by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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In Greenhouses Too

I see this principle used in large scale in industrial greenhouses here in Florida - they'll make one wall out of absorbent material and put drip sprinklers all along the top. Fans and vents keep the cool air moving through the greenhouse. It's fascinating to see.

Grandma knew

In the summer months, she would hang burlap over the curtain rods and place a pan of water on the window sill with the bottom of the burlap curtain in the water with the window open. A poor man's air-conditioner.

Wrapped and Unwrapped

Nearby child produces "the cooling effect" in a different way.

Also known as

The Coolgardie Safe.

Works on the same principle as the desert water bag, another simple and effective invention employing evaporative cooling. Desert water bags, of course, being made by such companies as Ames Harris Neville, and probably dime a dozen in desert climes during the '40s.

[Also the same principle as the "swamp cooler." - Dave]

Ames Harris Neville desert water bag

As mentioned: "Saturate Before Using."
How appropriate!

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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