Depression Era Air Conditioning With Gunny Sacks

Kansan recalls using staying cool by putting wet gunny sacks over her windows during the depression era.

Content Tools

One of my fondest memories of the depression era was putting gunny sacks on the windows in the summertime. We would pour water over these. As long as they remained wet, and there was a breeze, we had a coolness to our room. It felt so good on those hot summer days in western Kansas.

If my parents had been the ones to invent the water coolers that we have today; it would have been grand. They had the concept, but didn't keep up with modern technology to invent new products.

My friend tells me her father used to wrap his feet in rags as he didn't have money to buy himself any socks. My friend was a young bride and her husband wasn't making very much money and they were having a hard time making it. When she saw her father didn't have any socks, this was at Christmas time, she went out and bought him some with what little money she had at the time. From this day on, she always buys men socks for Christmas as she never wants any man to go without socks as her Father did.

Pauline Fecht
Syracuse, Kansas


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.