Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Cooling Off: Electric Fans

 Happy Tuesday!

It's hard to believe that it is already the last day of May!  Here in eastern Pennsylvania, we need no reminding that the summer is almost upon us.  Yesterday and through the rest of the week, it will be hot and humid.  The weather isn't great for working in the garden but it does mean that sewing is more the focus.

We are all grateful we have air conditioning.  It's important to be thankful for the not-so-little things in life.  If you are in my age group, you can remember when our homes didn't all have air conditioners.  

Fans were the means of keeping a home cool and they were placed strategically throughout the house.  The attic (where we slept at my Nana's house) had window fans that pushed air from one side of the house to the other.  A fan was at the top of the basement to suck the cool air into the main floor and other fans kept the house tolerable.

Often when we came into the house to cool off, we sat in front of the fan and then yelled into the fan and laughed at how our voice was altered by the rotating blades.

Sweltering nights meant no bedtime at all.  We all sat outside on the front porch (along with the other neighbors) until the wee hours of the morning.

It shouldn't surprise us that quilters honored the cooling of the fans with a quilt pattern.  For women working at home, fans provided some comfort during the chores of the day.  Here's an Electric Fan pattern from the Kansas City Star:

Another pattern was "Letha's Electric Fan":

Here's a good photo of the quilt block.

Wishing you the best day!  Stay cool!


  1. Gosh, I remember a glider like that at my Aunt Louise's. We'd sit there and watch the cars coming down Mile Hill. You'd need a cousin with legs long enough to reach the floor so that you could swing the glider.

  2. The first house we bought, built in 1886, had no a/c, so we put a fan into the attic to move the cooler air UP! It sure helped.