Skip to comments.Cool Capitalist: The 100th Anniversary of the Air Conditioner
Posted on 07/21/2006 7:15:05 AM PDT by Ed Hudgins
It's a typical 3-H Washington, D.C. summer: hazy, hot and humid. And with small variations, the rest of the country sweats through this same season.
But I sit typing in cool comfort, looking out a window into the park at the statue of an admiral who might want to yield his pedestal for a likeness of Willis Haviland Carrier. Who was Carrier and why does he deserve our esteem? He's the American who invented and commercialized the modern air conditioner.
Carrier was born in 1876 and grew on the cold shores of Lake Erie in Upstate New York. He earned a masters in electrical engineering from Cornell University in 1901 and went to work for the Buffalo Forge Co., where he worked on heating systems for companies to dry lumber and coffee.
One of his firm's customers, Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Co. in Brooklyn, faced a problem. Climate variations in their facility meant the printing equipment would expand or contract subtly, making it difficult to keep the machines properly aligned for the multistage printing process. Carrier solved the company's problem by producing the first system to control temperature, humidity and ventilation; U.S. Patent No. 8008897 for the "Apparatus for Treating Air" was granted in 1906.
Carrier started his own company in 1915. Entrepreneurs soon understood cool could attract customers. By 1924, he was producing air conditioning systems not only for industrial concerns but for department stores and theaters. Carrier's creations meant that in the hard times and long, hot summers of the Depression and World War II Americans could chill out watching a Clark Gable movie.
In 1928, Carrier produced the first AC unit for private residences ...
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
That's a cool story!
I suspected someone by the name of Carrier started air conditioning but didn't know the story. Thanks for posting it. I'll show this to my daughter.
Greatest Invention ever.
Weren't the first AC units ammonia based?.......
I reject the premise as mere speculation.
However, we went with a Trane.......
Thank God for Mr. Carrier! Where would we be without him?
That's just silly. The fact that the amount of oil in existence is finite is a fact, not a speculation.
If Willis Haviland Carrier is not a candidate for sainthood, he ought to be. Thanks to him, I can inhabit my beloved home state. As a child we had no AC, and I can tell your from that experience that without his invention to filter, cool and dehumidify the air in our homes, life Texas for asthmatics and allergy sufferers is extremely difficult during the summer months.
Einstein undertook this invention as a way of helping along his former student. He used the knowledge he had acquired during his years at the Swiss Patent Office to get solid patents for the invention in several countries. The refrigerator was not immediately put into commercial production, but rights to use the patents were sold to companies such as Electrolux of Sweden, and the funds obtained supported Szilárd for several years. Electrolux manufactures a similar design invented by Baltzar von Platen and Carl Munters in 1926 under the brand name Dometic.
What makes air conditioning so important is the fact that it made it possible to dramatically grow cities in the warmer climates of the southern half of the continental USA. Places like Las Vegas, NV, Phoenix, AZ and Orlando, FL could never have grown without widespread availability of air conditioning.
An air what?
The ^known^ amount of oil is finite (reservoirs deplete). Future stores and the Earth's rate of production of new oil is not known.
I drive by the Carrier facility outside of Syracuse regularly. Sad to see that much of that is now in Mexico and China.