There you are at the pool or beach, lounging in your swimsuit, sipping a cold drink (preferably with a little umbrella in it, right?), and then you feel it: a small bead of sweat trickling down your back. You’re hot, but you don’t care, because guess what? The sun feels good, and a cool dip of water—that blissful sweet relief—is just a few feet away. Ah, summer, how we love you…
Summer is a season where all of your senses have a fun time coming out to play. Last week we had fun taking a nostalgic trip down memory lane with our favorite 7 Simple Nostalgic Sounds of Summer, and for this week’s Throwback Thursday post, we’ve rounded up 17 Nostalgic Signs of Summer—the things that emerge in all their glory during this happy season of sun. And for some added fun, we’re sharing an interesting fact about each of them in case you need a good ice-breaker at your next summer BBQ or get-together (Just make sure to use them sparingly—you don’t want to be that guy).
17 Nostalgic Signs of Summer
1) Flip Flops
Flip flops are considered to be the first form of footwear: According to Ancient Egyptian murals, the earliest use of this shoe occurred around 4,000 B.C.
By 1950, every American car maker had a convertible in its lineup. This meant there were 33 different models in all!
In 1963, Lyndon B. Johnson hosted the first barbecue ever held at the White House. On the menu? Texas-style barbecued ribs.
4) Ice Cream Trucks
The first ice cream truck was credited to the creator of the Good Humor brand of ice cream, Harry Burt of Youngstown, Ohio. Burt was already delivering ice cream from a motorized vehicle when he had the idea to place chocolate covered ice cream bars on a stick. This new Good Humor ice cream “sucker” was easy and clean to eat, and ultimately gave him the idea to sell it directly from his truck to consumers on the street. We think it’s quite a cool scoop of history.
Every 14 minutes an American loses, breaks, or sits on a pair of sunglasses.
Paved roads became mainstream not because of cars, but because of bicycles: while automobile could go across cobblestones fairly well, bicycles could not.
7) Picnic Baskets
Picnic baskets were originally called picnic hampers.
The iconic Radio Flyer wagon got its name from inventor Antonio Pasin’s two favorite inventions: the radio and the airplane. Even during the Great Depression, Pasin and his crew cranked out 1,500 Radio Flyers every day, and production is still going strong—this year, the company celebrates its 100th anniversary!
Every part of this classic summertime vegetable (yes, vegetable!) is edible, even the seeds and rinds.
About 65% of all water used in American households goes to watering lawns. (In summer, that’s about a whopping 238 gallons per person per day!)
11) Yard Sales
In 2012, a man bought a sketch at a Las Vegas yard sale that turned out to be an original Andy Warhol painting that appraised for $2,000,000.
12) Lightning Bugs
Fireflies have the ability to synchronize their flashing, and the light they emit can be yellow, green, or orange.
13) Skin (Lots and lots of skin…)
Sunburn is a visual reaction to the sun’s ultraviolet rays: the rays kill living cells underneath the top layer of your epidermis, and then your immune system speeds up the blood flow to send white blood cells in to try and repair the damage—hence the hallmark redness of sitting in the sun for too long. (Remember to wear sunscreen!)
14) Farmers Markets
The number of farmers markets in the United States has grown rapidly in recent years, from just under 2,000 in 1994 to more than 8,600 markets currently registered in the USDA Farmers Market Directory.
15) Open Windows
While it is estimated that the average US home is built with about 8 windows, the White House boasts a crazy 147 and Buckingham Palace has a whopping 760!
In 1905, 11-year-old Frank Epperson stirred a package of soda mix into a cup of water with a stick and accidentally left the concoction on his porch overnight. The temperature outside dropped enough that when Frank returned the following morning, he found a delicious frozen treat, complete with a handle. Voila—the first Popsicle!
17) Lemonade Stands
The earliest documented lemonade stands were introduced by young entrepreneur Edward Bok in Brooklyn street cars from 1873 to 1876.
Let Us know: What are some of your favorite signs of summer? What are the things that come out during the summertime months that take you back to your childhood?
At The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.