Keeping Cool with a Pedal-Operated Fan Chair

It wasn’t easy to stay cool before the invention of air conditioning, and even harder before we had electric power. But some of our Founding Fathers were able to invest in a Fan Chair. The chair, invented by musical instrument maker John Cram, had pedals somewhat like those of a sewing machine, which powered a simple fan that moved back and forth to create a slight breeze on the user’s face. The version you see above is somewhat of an improvement, relying on the action of rocking the chair to move the fan.

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This is just one gadget from a roundup of eight methods of keeping cool before air conditioning at Mental Floss, most of which we don’t use anymore. To be honest, I really would like a sleeping porch. I’ve known a few people who had them, and they are nice as long as there’s a roof for rain and a good screen for insects.   

(Image credit: U.S. National Archives)

Source: neatorama

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