Willis H. Carrier: Hero

( #AirConditioning, #hero )

As we clean off our grills and buy our hot dogs for the coming 4th of July celebrations, I would like to celebrate something SOMEONE else: Willis H. Carrier.

Who the hell is Willis H. Carrier?

He invented the modern form of air conditioning. Do I even need to say anything else? How is this man’s name not celebrated with Bell, Telsa, and Marconi?

The Cornell grad’s July 1902 innovation at age 25 helped a Brooklyn printing company deal with vexing humidity and temperature issues. By the Roasting 1920s, trains, theaters, department stores and even Congress (never short on hot air) began installing air-conditioning systems made possible by the steady flow of Carrier’s work.

People who enjoy taking shots at my home state will be saddened to know that the first commercial air conditioning factory was established in Newark, NJ (by Carrier and a group of friends). Due to the Wall Street crash of 1929, Carrier’s company had to merge with a few others (with Carrier taking on the Chairman position), but eventually the company recovered and grew. The economic boom of World War II brought air conditioning into American homes.

It should be noted that a man named Stuart H. Cramer actually came up with the term “Air Conditioning” for a process he developed to keep humidity out of yarn in textile plants. Carrier called it “treating air”. He also did not create the first means to cool the interior of a building, but his methods and patents were the first safe and successful methods. Carrier’s formulas still stand today as the basis in all fundamental calculations for the air conditioning industry.

Every American should know the name of Willis H. Carrier and thank him every time the sweat behind their knees fades away.

Read More:
NPR: Too Hot? No Cooler Time to Honor the Steve Jobs of AC

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