When heat waves cut down city residents

New York is no stranger to brutal heat waves. But thanks to air conditioning, newspapers no longer have to print a daily list of “heat prostrations,” which included dozens of citizens overcome by hot weather.

A check of The New York Times archive drew story after story on a specific heat spell, plus a list of people felled by heatstroke.

[“On the Docks After a Hot Day,” an 1868 illustration from the NYPL]

An article about an 89-degree day in June 1899 listed these casualties: 

“Isaac Shapiro, fifty-eight years old, of 292 Division Street, was overcome in front of his home. He was removed to Gouverneur Hospital.

“James O’Mara, twenty years old, living in a lodging house at Broome Street and the Bowery, was driving a truck at 117 Spring Street when he was overcome by the heat. He was removed to St. Vincent’s Hospital.

“An unknown woman, poorly dressed and about sixty years old, was found unconscious last night at Locust Avenue and  133rd Street by Policeman McGrath of the East 138th Street Station. The woman seemed to have been overcome by heat. She was taken to Harlem Hospital.”

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3 Responses to “When heat waves cut down city residents”

  1. Nabe News: July 7 - Bowery Boogie | A Lower East Side Chronicle Says:

    […] waves of Gotham’s past [Ephemeral […]

  2. Hilary Says:

    89 degrees? That seems almost cool compared to the latest heat wave. I suppose if everyone was walking around swaddled in 19th century clothing, 89 degrees would be downright deadly.

  3. Three ways New York used to cool off in summer « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] city is no stranger to scorching temperatures; there’s the heat wave of 1911, the heat wave of 1899, and the heat wave of 1938, among […]

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