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Who Invented Air Conditioning?

inventor of air conditioning willis carrierWondering who invented air conditioning? On July 17th, 1902 Willis Havilland Carrier designed something that would be the building block for an invention that nearly all Americans use today, the air conditioning unit. Air conditioning units, which are installed in nearly every home, have become a necessity in today’s world. This is especially true here in South Florida.

Willis Carrier, who invented the air conditioning unit concept, was born November 26th 1876 in Angola, New York and 25 years later received a degree in engineering from Cornell University. Carrier, as a child, had a difficult time understanding the concept of fractions. Carrier.com has this to say about how Carrier overcame his early struggle–“Realizing his struggles, his mother taught him by cutting whole apples into various-sized fractional pieces. He later said this lesson was the most important one that he ever learned because it taught him the value of intelligent problem-solving.” In 1901 Carrier began working at Buffalo Forge Company; a Buffalo, New York based company that specialized in manufacturing blacksmith’s forges. He then went on to design the world’s first modern air conditioning system in 1902.

The “ah-ha!” moment for inventions is when the inventor sees something that no one else has before and finds a way to apply it to solve a problem. Willis, while on a train platform in Pennsylvania, had his “ah-ha” moment. While he looked through the foggy mist, he concluded that by passing air through water it would create mist. By doing this it would make controlling the humidity of the air possible, therefore creating the fundamental idea of the air conditioning units that we have today.

While in Buffalo, Carrier submitted his drawings in an effort to obtain higher air quality at Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing & Publishing Company of Brooklyn. These drawings, submitted on July 17, 1902, have become officially recognized as the origin of modern air conditioning, and gave Carrier the entitlement to become the person who invented air conditioning.







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