The Archivist: On hot days, pull down the blinds or cover up

Mary Phillips digs into the archives of The Oklahoman to find interesting treasures such as this stern warning from the summer of 1913, before air conditioning, to cover yourself or pull down the blinds.
By Mary Phillips Staff Writer mphillips@opubco.com Published: July 15, 2013
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With the hot, muggy days of summer finally upon us, this story that appeared in The Oklahoman on July 7, 1913, might bring back memories to some Oklahomans and remind others that, while we have the luxury of air conditioning, the window shades are there for a reason.

“Late sleepers beware! You who have dragged your beds up to the window and lie abed till other people have started the day's work. Hereafter you are likely to roused at 6 a.m. by a policeman with a request that you pull down the shades or retire further in the shaded recesses of your chamber. No more may you lie in an undraped condition stretched at full length or curled up in your windows, snoring while the work-a-day world passes below you and stares.

“'Pull down the shades or get up!' may be the order issued by the police department to those who sleep in windows. Chief of Police J.D. Jones is about to place a ban on southern exposures. There are threats of a 6 o'clock curfew to arouse old and young, fat and thin, and notifying them that it is time to retreat from the airy couches. No such orders are official, but they may be so.

“The new crusade is the result of an early trip downtown Chief of Police Jones made Sunday morning. Late Sunday night he had scarce recovered from the shocks received Sunday morning as he passed through the residence district of the city.

“As he rounded a corner on the way to his office, he saw what appeared to freight car draped in a circus tent lodged on the porch of a fine residence. Closer inspection showed that it was merely the large owner of the house sound asleep at 8 a.m. partly wrapped in a voluminous 'nightie.'

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