appreciate what this man is doing you need to let your imagination go back
to the pre-air conditioned days of railroading when a steel Pullman car
has been sitting out in a 90 degree plus day. You, in your nice
white shirt and light wool suit get on the car and start to roast.
You open a window to get whatever breeze is blowing just in time for the
engineer to start the train. He gives a little too much throttle
spinning the drivers and sending nice wet cinders in all directions, some
to land on that nice white shirt.
workman is loading the Pennsy's newest customer pleasing contraption with
ice. It can hold 1800 lbs of ice. He puts the flexible air
duct through the car's window, shuts the door to the ice bunker, turns on
the big fan and cools the car.
don't think this photo was taken in Columbus, Columbus was reportedly one
of the stations this was tried. It would not be too long before the
railroads and the Pullman Co. installed this equipment on the cars thus
making air-conditioning practical for railroad companies. At first
ice was used later mechanical air-conditioning units were developed.
The duct work would be added on the roof along side the clerestory and the
ice bunker and fan were installed under the car floor.
Here is the text from the September 1932 Popular Science magazine from
which this clipping came.
"Through a new system know as
'pre-cooling,' sleeping cars of the Pennsylvania Road are now made
comfortable for travelers on warm summer nights. Before the train
leaves, a blast of chill air is blown through the car for an hour and a
half. This air, forced through a compartment containing 1,800
pounds of ice, is led into the car through a flexible duct."
reminds us just how creative the "Standard Railroad" was. They were
constantly trying new things. Later in the 1960's with the railroads
in decline that would all change.
News clipping & photo from the Irv