It's hard to imagine a world without the comfort of air conditioning. This week the air conditioner celebrated its 110th birthday. The first air conditioner was made in order to keep a Brooklyn printing center located on the top floor of a building from getting too hot in the summer. And that technology is essentially still what is used today.
With this summer being one of the hottest on record, most people are thankful for their air conditioners, as it has been one of the only things keeping them comfortable in the unbearable heat. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that 87 percent of American homes now have some sort of air conditioning device.
The AC also celebrates another milestone this week. Today happens to be the 45th anniversary of the first air-conditioned subway car. On July 19, 1967, the F line of the New York City Subway was the first to get air-conditioned cars, and as a commuter myself, I sure am thankful.
The first air conditioner was made for the Brooklyn printing factory by Willis Haviland Carrier. He had just graduated from Cornell with an engineering degree, and his starting salary with the printing company was only $10 a week. The design worked out well, however, and Carrier continued to perfect it. In 1930, he started the company that today is known as Carrier, which still exists and remains a leading producer of air conditioners.
Just think of how different the world would be if we didn't have air conditioners to keep us from getting too hot in the summer. So the next time you duck inside of an air conditioned room to escape some serious heat, say thank you to William Haviland Carrier for the difference he's made in your life. Happy birthday, AC!
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