Before air conditioning, how did Floridians survive summer?
In summary, we didn't (kind of).
Prior to air conditioning, Florida was the least populated state in the South. We were known for swampy land and absurdly hot/muggy summers. Our heat even influenced architecture. The "Florida Cracker Style" is a home design that featured shiny metal roofs, tall ceilings that allowed warmth to rise, and wide windows and porches to facilitate airflow. We may have A/C but I still love this architectural style!
Anyway, everything changed in the 1950s, when air conditioning became an option for homeowners (not prohibitively expensive). Our population didn't just grow, it exploded!
Not only do we now have the 3rd most populated state (22 million and growing), but Americans love visiting Florida, as we rank #1 for tourism in the nation!
So, when you see the mercury cracking 100F and the heat index soaring to 115F, don't feel bad about cranking your AC and staying inside. It's the invention that made our state the best state in the country!