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Friday, June 26, 2009

The Dog Days of Summer

To celebrate summer, I looked through the archives for evidence of how our predecessors dealt with the heat before there were water parks and air conditioning. These images should cool you off even if it is 90 degrees and 80 percent humidity outside.

This picnic scene from about 1895 is unidentified, though it may be attributed to the Lux family of Wadsworth.

This detail of the picnic photo shows a large dog napping in the shade in the foreground, and the pleasant group of picnickers, enjoying tea or coffee in ceramic cups and saucers.

Perhaps a dip in the lake is more your style. How about this diver caught on film, circa 1895, a split second before hitting the water. Today, it costs on average $90 for a season pass to a water park. I'll bet it didn't cost this lad a penny to cool off.

And a detail of the boys who stayed on the boat, watching the dramatic plunge and waiting for their turn.

This real photo postcard from circa 1910 is captioned: "'We Are Having an Awful Splash' at Lake Zurich, Ill."

The close-up of the bathers, in there wool swimsuits, is proof of the great fun they had "posing" for this Masure and Leonhard postcard.

Take a lesson from the past to keep cool during these Dog Days, and find a shady spot under a tree or dip your toes in a local lake!

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