Monday, July 21, 2014

Happy birthday, air conditioning!

Living as I happily do in the heart of Dixie, this is a big deal:
In Buffalo, New York, on July 17 [conflicting dates, July 21 is given also - Borepatch] , 1902, in response to a quality problem experienced at the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing & Publishing Company of Brooklyn, Willis Carrier submitted drawings for what became recognized as the world's first modern air conditioning system. The 1902 installation marked the birth of air conditioning because of the addition of humidity control, which led to the recognition by authorities in the field that air conditioning must perform four basic functions:

1.) control temperature; 2.) control humidity; 3.) control air circulation and ventilation; 4.) cleanse the air.
I can't imagine what things would be like without AC.


burt said...

I have always felt that A/C is probably the most important invention of the 20th century.

A/C (and refrigeration) allowed medical research to advance like nothing else in history. Patients in air-conditioned hospitals had a better chance of survival, drugs would last longer, and new drugs that needed to be stored in a cool place could be made. Fresh food - especially dairy and fruit - could now last longer without spoilage, thus improving health. Areas of the U.S. that were once extremely inhospitable now became liveable.

Trains were merely faster than horse carts. Radio was merely faster than pony express. Fire could heat homes in the winter. But until A/C, humans had no way to effectively do *cooling*.

IMHO, Carrier is single-handedly responsible for the most important step forward in human medical science in the last 300 years.

Dave H said...

I understand the introduction of air conditioning in the Southeast evened out the birth rate from month to month also.

joethefatman said...

"I can't imagine what things would be like without AC."

Having grown up without it, I can. Even the grade school I went to in Houston didn't have AC. Now I like a cool 72 inside.

NotClauswitz said...

I applaud your celebration of technological wizardry!
Now that we have it I love it, and we run it at 79-degrees because we're not too bad with heat either. However when it was 107 last week our humidity level was only 8% - it can get real dry and we don't have to fight a lot of humidity.

libertyman said...

Send this news to to the airport in Philadelphia -- no A/C there!

Tommy Hopkins said...

Belated Happy Birthday to the air-condition, indeed. It has brought decades upon decades of relief to people who are wracked by humidity and too much heat. It's been quite a tool for regulation of temperatures, as well as for maintaining some bit of control on our surroundings and how we can go about our home lives. Glad it's being recognized once in a while. Thanks to the internet.

Tommy Hopkins @ AccuTemp