The heat of the day can sometimes be unbearable. And in this day and age, most people can turn on the air conditioner and lock themselves inside, out of the heat. For those of us determined to get some rays, we can strip down to our bathing suits or wear shorts and tank tops if we so choose.
But what about during an era when showing your ankles was an outrage and a woman's dress consisted of at least five layers--a corset, petticoats, chemises, and any other accessory they needed for the day (gloves, hats, shawls, and so on).
Men were no exception to suffering in the heat, either. Imagine having to wear wool pants, a suit coat, waistcoat, a tie, and a long sleeved shirt. Add a hat and boots and you're lucky if you can find some shade to rest in, especially in my Forgotten Lands book one, Dust and Shadow.
So, how did the Victorians stay cool? It was a question I needed answering for my research. While they didn't have to battle the grueling heat, a drought, dust storms, and lack of shade like the characters in my story, the Victorians did have to get creative in order to cool down.
Here are 10 ways they stayed cool on a warm day.
1. Covered Porches
3. Iced Drinks and Ice Cream
4. Metal and Porcelain liners in their pitchers to keep drinks cooler for longer
5. Hand-held Fans
6. Optimal Air Circulation - keeping the upstairs windows open to suck out the heat, since it rises and open bottom windows to draw in the cooler, "garden" air where all the trees were planted and there was shade
7. Heavy drawn curtains with high ceilings
8. House Plants
9. Parks and Gardens were shady and peaceful and often had places to rest in the shade
10. Hats and Parasols