During this oppressive heat wave, summer’s must have accessory is the ubiquitous water bottle. Whether Aquafina or Poland Springs no one leaves home without toting these portable hydrators. Always at the ready, these plastic water bottles can be found littering desks and cluttering conference tables in offices up and down the coast.
But long before these portable thirst quenchers became available, a parched, overheated worker had to rely on the office water cooler or the cool refreshments from a vending machine.
Before the popularity of air conditioning, the summer heat slowed down office workers everywhere, including Mitzie McCrea a mid-century miss who toiled in the steamy jungle that was Manhattan. Sometimes Mitzie just wished she could live inside her Frigidaire, especially when the summer temperatures reached the high 90s like they did that August in 1958.
This saucy secretary who could take dictation faster than you could place a long distance call and could change a typewriter ribbon more deftly than anyone on Seventh Avenue, slowed to a crawl in the hot weather. Like most firms in Manhattans steamy mid-town, sales were sluggish, and overheated office workers just slogged through the day. The hot air circulating through the office by the giant standing fans offered no relief.
As temperatures rose, employee morale dropped.
Wisely, Mitzi’s manager Mr. Dithers took matters into his own hands, making cooling refreshments available to his suffering staff throughout the day. Just a simple phone call to Kansas City and quick as a wink the Vendo Company – the premier manufacturer of cold beverage vending machines – was soon installing a series of their top-notch machines for on the spot refreshment.
Smiling, Dithers figured out how to beat the summer heat automatically! And boost sales.
Mitzie and her co workers were thrilled and her eyes lit up at the row of tempting refreshments
Rich wholesome ice cream! Cold sparkling Coca Cola! And nothing said “chill” more than a tall refreshing cup of milk. Hmmm boy, that’s good cooling! All served automatically at the touch of a button! Old Man Dithers was going modern all the way.
Now all Mitzie needed was to save up those nickels and dimes to beat the summer heat.
© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.