Carrier: The Man Behind The Cool

Willis Carrier And The Birth Of Air Conditioning

As the summer months drag on, lets take a moment to reflect on that most comforting of inventions, the air conditioner, and its creator. Drawings for the first modern air conditioner were submitted on July 17th, 1902, by Willis Carrier, about a year after he graduated college. How many of us can claim to have changed the world the first year after college?

Willis Carrier, himself, was born in Angola, NY on November 26th to Duane and Elizabeth Carrier. He studied at Cornell University and received his BS in Engineering in 1901. His initial air conditioning system was designed to relieve a problem at a publishing company in Brooklyn, and added a humidity control to that company’s existing air cooling methods.

Carrier continued to refine and test his work and received a patent for it in 1906. Additional discoveries of methods to maintain constant relative humidity earned him an additional patent in 1914. In 1915 he formed the corporation that bears his name. Unfortunately, the Great Depression and subsequent second World War would reduce the demand for air conditioning. Carrier passed away in 1950 before having a chance to witness the post-war boom of the air conditioning industry.

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