Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Air-Conditioned Train Was the Coolest Thing

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Air-Conditioned Train Was the Coolest Thing

Article excerpt

Only John Dillinger was cold the August of 1934.

The rest of America sweltered. It was a hot, endless summer.

Only the weather was a bigger topic in Jacksonville than the

gunning down of Public Enemy No. 1 on July 22 in Chicago.

Then the Cool Train came to town.

The world was never quite the same.

Neither after Dillinger nor air-conditioning.

Three Cool Trains actually came to Jacksonville, the hub of the

significant South.

Seaboard Air Line Railway pumped in air-conditioning that

summer.

Florida East Coast Railway put an air-conditioned lounge car on

its Havana Special.

Atlantic Coast Line's "Palm City" lounge was the hit of its

crack Tamiami train.

The Pullman Co. made the cars.

Soon all railroads in America would be air-conditioned, said

Pullman's O.W. Snoddy.

Snoddy came to Jacksonville on a tour of the Southeast to

explain the wonders of air-conditioning on railroad trains.

Snoddy was assistant to the vice president of the Pullman Co.

He and other railroad executives visited The Florida

TimesUnion, which had more than a passing interest in railroad

trains at the time.

Pullman was putting 5,000 people to work putting

air-conditioning on trains, Snoddy said.

It was the wave of the future, hard as that may be to believe,

the railroaders said.

Soon systems would be installed that did not require ice or

make noise, they said.

W.A. Wharton, assistant passenger agent for the Atlantic Coast

Line, said the Palm City lounge would maintain perfect midwinter

Florida temperature year-round, all the way to Cleveland.

J.D. Ingraham of Florida East Coast said the system was not

unlike the home refrigerator.

While the overnight run on the FEC was commonly cool and

cinder-free, the air-conditioned lounge offered a cool, clean

retreat during the day, he said.

And the light stayed on, even when you closed the door.

The coming of air-conditioned trains commanded major attention

in Jacksonville's morning newspaper. …

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