I noticed in the footnotes in DB's link the reference to swamp coolers. When I first saw one of these on a car at an auto show several years ago, I was told it was a swamp water cooler. When it ran out of water, you could stop anywhere and refill it with- well- water from anywhere!
Supposedly one of the first in the car air conditioners had a pan for ice in which an internal fan blew air over it.

ROD [Mich.]