The First Air Conditioning Systems

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Air conditioning is a technology that has been sought by different cultures and civilizations throughout much of history. Yet, how did we get from the ancients visions to today’s form of modern air conditioning in West Chester, Ohio and in the rest of the states across America? The answer is not as simple as you would think. The history of air conditioning covers now merely decades, but centuries as people throughout the ages have worked to develop some means of keeping their homes cool.

Early Air Conditioning

In the past, many different peoples have managed to keep themselves cool. Often, the means have been very basic – such as swimming in cool water. At other times, certain individuals have come up with a more complex way to cool down including residential architecture. The claims to creating more sophisticated means of air conditioning fall to two cultures: the Chinese and the Romans. The Romans, during had invented a means through which the use of the cool water found in the aqueducts circulated through the walls of their homes. During the second century, a Chinese inventor, by the name of Ding Huane, invented a hand powered rotary fan.

Both these inventive means came to nothing in the end. Civilizations were laid to rest. Technological inventions were forgotten. As a result, it was not actually until the early 19th century that the inventive minds of certain individuals turned once again to creating an answer to heat waves.

Willis Haviland Carrier (1876 – 1950)

The inventor of the modern system of air conditioning is an American engineer, William Carrier. While other inventors and engineers e.g. Dr. John Gorrie (1803-1855) tinkered with the idea, Carrier actually came up with a solution. He invented in 1902 something he called the Apparatus for Treating Air. This was done under the auspices of the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Co. in Brooklyn, N.Y. The purpose of this invention was to cool the printing plant. The result was the founding of Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America. This concept of “manufactured air” became publicly known during the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.

These coolers did not become known as air conditioners until 1906. At this time, a North Carolina engineer, Stuart Cramer (1868-1940), came up with a ventilating device to help increase the humidity in textile mills. He calls the process “air conditioning.” Meanwhile, Carrier continues to make advances in the technological applications of his discovery. He invents the centrifugal chiller in 1922. It provides the wherewithal to expand the process and comes to the notice of the American public in 1925. As part of the Memorial celebrations, it is used to cool down the Rivoli Theater on Times Square. This was followed by the installation of his “chillers” in Detroit, Michigan in the J. L. Hudson Department Store.

The 1930s and Afterwards

In the 1930s, the use of air conditioning spread. It became a regular feature of department stores and offices. In the 1940s, following the war, air conditioning in West Chester and across other communities in the States, became common in homes. Although it was more usual in new builds, this was to change in the following years.

Today, it is more common than not for residences to have air conditioning in West Chester, most households have air conditioning units. Over the centuries, it has moved away from being a luxury and a novelty to become an integral part of the home mechanical systems.