Published: March 5, 2010
Well into the 19th century, Americans relied on fireplaces to warm their homes in winter. But that method wasn’t simply inefficient — it was ineffective, too. Travel a few feet from the fireplace, and you might start shivering again.
In this episode, the History Guys look at what happened when stoves became widely available in the mid-19th century, and how that technology altered Americans’ way of life. They also consider the advent of air conditioning a century later, and explore its far-reaching implications on everything from architecture and leisure to demography and politics.
How did America become the “land of comfort?” And what lessons does the history of climate control hold for us today?