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 ...
I do strongly favor banning air conditioning in all government buildings here in heat-oppressed Washington, D.C. That would make this town a hardship post again, cut down on the number of people who would want to work for the oppressive federal bureacracy, and keep Congress out of session for the summer months so they would leave us the hell alone! -- Ed Hudgins
There will be no "Sun Belt" without Carrier, period.
We didn't have AC when I was growing up either. With the exception of a few movie theaters and restaurants, I don't remember AC in widespread use until the late 1960s, early 70s. Most new automobiles didn't feature it until the 70s and even then it was an option.
Vegas would still be Vegas but the city would have been empty during the summer if there's no AC.
There is much wisdom to that observation.
Most interesting, like the story of the inventor of the first moldable plastic, Leo Baekland.
About the only bit of wisdon that Howard ever imparted!!!!!
We held the March for Truth in Lafayette Park when it was 100 degrees. I can understand why people would flee Washington.
(((We didn't have AC when I was growing up either. With the exception of a few movie theaters and restaurants, I don't remember AC in widespread use until the late 1960s, early 70s. Most new automobiles didn't feature it until the 70s and even then it was an option.)))
I'm only fifty (gee, it sounds good to say ONLY), but we didn't have air conditioning until the mid-70s, and then it was considered a neat luxury.
Where we live (low desert) it's gaining population by leaps and bounds. I often muse that if reliable A/C hadn't come about this area would have the same population ratio as the Sahara Desert.
(Check my page - it's 8:30 am, and already 102 on my three thermos - expected to hit 116 today with a 'warmup' for the weekend...I'll likely FReep more than usual)
Who, if I remembr my plastic history correctly, invented Bakelite as an entry for a contest. The Belgian companies who made billiard balls from ivory were concerned that the supply of ivory might be depleted.
They offered a cash prize to the person who could come up with the best substitute for ivory. Leo Baekland came up with a plastic named for him - Bakelite - and won the contest.
I didn't know about the Belgian prize.
He discovered the material while he (and other researchers) was looking for a substitute for varnish made from some bugs - but noticed big globs forming when he baked it, and went on to find he could mold the stuff.
I second that motion!
Funny how that works, make them comfy and they want to lounge around and take forever to get things done, we should shut down the AC there and I bet the tempo would pickup quite a bit...
That's just silly. The fact that the amount of oil in existence is finite is a fact, not a speculation
The rate of the earth's natural production of oil is unknown; therefore predicting an end to the supply is, in fact, mere speculation.
what's sillier is that your statement suggests that you know categorically that oil, which is formed by natural processes, has for some reason ceased to be formed by natural process.
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...
It was the paper that would expand and contract with temperature and moisture changes, not the machinery.
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