The Air Conditioner

April 28th Celebrates The Air Conditioner

Today on Days to remember we celebrate how on April 28th 1947 W.H. Carrier patented the design of his air conditioner.

Who was W. H. Carrier?

Willis Haviland Carrier was an American engineer, best known for inventing modern air conditioning.

How did he come with the idea for air conditioner?

The problem began with paper at printing press.

In the spring of 1902, consulting engineer Walter Timmis visited the Manhattan office of J. Irvine Lyle, the head of Buffalo Forge’s sales activities in New York.

Timmis’ client, Sackett & Wilhelms, found that humidity at its Brooklyn plant wreaked havoc with the color register of its fine, multicolor printing. Ink, applied one color at a time, would misalign with the expansion and contraction of the paper stock.

This caused poor quality, scrap waste and lost production days, Timmis said. Judge magazine happened to be one of the important clients whose production schedule was at risk.

Timmis had some ideas about how to approach the problem but would need help.

One of Lyle’s great skills was his ability to assess new business opportunities, and he grasped this one immediately.

He knew that engineers had long been able to heat, cool and humidify air. Sometimes, as a result of cooling, they had also been able to reduce humidity, but precise control of humidity in a manufacturing environment that was something entirely new.

Lyle also had an innate ability for sizing up people. In this case, he believed he knew the engineer who could tackle this problem, a recent Cornell University graduate who had already impressed many people at Buffalo Forge.

So, Lyle accepted Timmis’ challenge and sent the problem to Willis Carrier, the first step in a long and prosperous collaboration.

And the rest is just history; however The Great Depression slowed residential and commercial use of air conditioning. Willis Carrier’s igloo in the 1939 New York World’s Fair gave visitors a glimpse into the future of air conditioning, but before it became popular, World War II began.

During the post-war economic boom of the 1950s, air conditioning began its tremendous growth in popularity. As we celebrate how on April 28th 1947 W.H. Carrier patented the design of his air conditioner.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell
jdmitchelldesigns@gmail.com

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