Tucson in 100 Objects: Swamp cooler

2014-04-21T00:00:00Z 2014-06-13T10:18:24Z Tucson in 100 Objects: Swamp coolerBy Tom Beal Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Before the widespread use of air conditioning, and for a long time afterwards, most Tucson homes were topped with evaporative coolers, commonly called “swamp coolers” because they chill the dry desert air by absorbing heat in water dripping through pads.


An excelsior of shaved aspen was the traditional medium for the pads but various materials are now used.

The swamp cooler makes it possible to stay cool and moist during the hot, dry days of Tucson’s “first summer” in May and June. When the monsoon comes in July, bringing moister air, they don’t work so well.

Some Tucsonans still can’t give them up, though 99 percent of newer homes now feature air conditioning.

Copyright 2015 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Download Flash Player

What's Hot

Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...
Get weekly ads via e-mail
Tucson.com newsletters

Sign up for Tucson.com e-mail newsletters

Sports news and blog headlines, delivered nightly.

Midmorning update of local business headlines, daily.

Tucson-area obituaries, daily.

Receive the current day's weather forecast in your email!