Air Conditioning: A Pretty Cool History!

Believe it or not, it was the Chinese who thought of, and developed, the first known machine to change hot air into cool air.  These early, innovative Chinese had crude systems that did the trick—as far back as the 750’s.  If we fast-forward about a thousand years, it brings us to a name we all know:  Benjamin Franklin!

Enjoy this brief overview of one of the most enjoyed luxuries of our time—Air Conditioning!

The Timeline Of Air Conditioning:

1----1758:  Benjamin Franklin and a university professor friend discover that by evaporating explosive liquids, they are able to cool an object enough to freeze water.

2----1820:  Michael Faraday, an English inventor, comes to the same conclusion Benjamin Franklin did when he compresses and liquefies ammonia.

3----1830’s:  Dr. John Gorrey builds an ice-making machine at the hospital where he is employed.  Dr. Gorrey’s machine uses compression to create large chunks of ice, and then blows air over them.   After almost 2 decades, he finally patents the idea.   Dr. Gorrey is a visionary and imagines how this will impact homes and businesses all over the world.  Unfortunately, many people do not share his prophetic foresight; and he is unable to secure financial backing for his idea; and it never comes to fruition.

4----1881:  On a hot summer day in July of that year, President James Garfield is assassinated.  Before he dies, Naval Engineers think of building a makeshift cooling unit to keep Garfield as comfortable as possible.  The device is filled with large amounts of cloth, soaked with cold water.  While a bellowed fan blows hot air overhead, cooler air remains closer to the ground. It is, eventually, discovered that this method is able to lower an uncomfortably hot room by as much as 20 degrees.

5----1902:  Willis Carrier (does that last name sound familiar?) invents an apparatus which blows warmer air over cooled coils which lowers temperatures and controls humidity at the same time.  Carrier, unlike Dr. John Gorrey, is able to whet the appetites of wealthy factory owners; and with vast support, Carrier Air Conditioning of America is born.

6----1914:  Air conditioning is making its exciting debut in America!  Charles Gates, a wealthy mansion owner, is the proud proprietor of an air conditioning unit measuring 7 feet high, 6 feet deep and 20 feet long.  The air-conditioning doesn’t have a chance to be appreciated since no one, seemingly, ever lives in the estate!

7----1931:  H.H. Schultz and a friend, J.Q. Sherman, co-invent a much smaller version of Charles Gates’ luxury item—a window air-conditioner!  Only one year passes before these winded-wonders are available for retail sale; but only for the mega-rich!  The costs range from $10,000 to $50,000 a piece!  A lot of money back then--the equivalent of $120,000 to $600,000 today!

8----1939:  The first air-conditioned car is available for pampered passengers.  At this point in history, the cars’ dashes don’t accommodate a control for the A/C flow, so if passengers become uncomfortably cool, the driver is forced stop the engine, pop the hood and disconnect the compressor belt.

9----1942:  The first power plant is built in the United States to take on the increasing demand of air-conditioned homes and businesses.

10---1950s:  America continues to explode with Baby-Boomer births and air-conditioners, galore!  By 1953, one million air-conditioning units are sold.

11---1970s:  Window A/C units are competing with something bigger and better:  Central Air!
Hard to believe the concept of ‘creating’ cooler air from hotter air is more than 1,200 years old!  But,  you know what they say: Necessity is the Mother of Invention!

Author Bio:
Miss Carlson loves to write when she's not watching her little grandson.  She writes on a lot of different topics including air conditioner repairfort worth.

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