Notes From a Heatwave

Eleonor Botoman
12 min readAug 29, 2022
Two women sleeping on their fire escape, photographed on August 30th, 1948 by Tom Gallagher for New York Daily News. Days before, temperatures reached 108℉ in New York City during a heatwave that killed at least 30 people.

“Angels are unthinkable / in hot weather,” — Monica Youn, ‘A Parking Lot in West Houston’

The story goes like this: the Sackett and Wilhelms Lithography & Printing Company was struggling to keep the humidity levels in their production rooms low. Their paper was warping from all the moisture in the air and the inks weren’t drying properly. Engineer Willis Carrier was hired to find a solution. The result was a machine — the…

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