Depression Era Air Conditioning With Gunny Sacks

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

| Good Old Days

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. 


Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019


Next: April 27-28, 2019
Asheville, N.C.

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!


Subscribe today

Capper's FarmerWant to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $6 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $22.95 for a one year subscription!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds