Be glad the days of ice-block licking are over.
The Library of Congress has compiled its best pictures of people cooling off before the popularization of air conditioning (window units didn't become available until the 1930s). People beat the heat in lots of creative ways, including licking giant blocks of ice like animals, as seen in this picture from the early 1910s:
Other ice solutions were probably more common. This picture shows what we'd call shaved ice today: a man selling scraped ice, with some flavors available. The ice was scraped straight off the block:
And there were other unusual institutions that had surprisingly high demand in the 1910s. This picture shows a huge crowd outside a building in New York's Tompkins Square Park:
That long line was for the ... milk house. A milk house was a place where families could buy cold — and fresh — milk instead of the rotten, warm milk often sold on the streets.
This summer, be grateful we don't need ice blocks or milk houses — ice cream works just fine.