These are just a few of the ways scorched city residents without money or means cooled off when temperatures soared, as documented by photojournalist George Bain more than 100 years ago.
Bain took lots of pictures around the city those days, chronicling other ways New York’s masses handled heat waves—things we don’t resort to anymore, thanks mostly to air conditioning.
Like buying some scraped ice, as these street boys (and some grown men) are doing. How much could a shaving of ice go for back then?
If ice didn’t quench your thirst, you could head to the milk house, a city-sponsored place to get cold, fresh milk rather than the swill milk often sold. This one is at Tompkins Square Park.
Moms with babies could sit on a bench in a local park and stay as still as possible. If that carriage is metal, it must be hot!
Once the kids got a little older, you could ditch them on a shaded corner of the sidewalk, put a towel down, and let them sweat it out—like these city girls are learning to do.
Tags: City Kids New York, George Bain Collection, George Bain photos, Milk Station Tompkins Square Park, Mothers and Babies in New York, New York City in the summer, New York parks, New York street summer, street kids New York, Summer in New York