As we celebrate the 120th anniversary of modern-day air conditioning, here is a brief history on the “Father of Air Conditioning”- Willis Carrier.
Early Years of Willis Carrier-
Willis Carrier was born on November 26, 1876 in Angola, New York to Duane Williams Carrier and Elizabeth R. Haviland. Willis Carrier graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Engineering in 1901.
- 1901- Willis Carrier began working at Buffalo Forge Company-a supplier of forges, fans and hot blast heaters.
- July 17, 1902- Willis Carrier submitted his design for the first modern air conditioning system to help resolve a production and quality issue at Sackett & Wilhelms Lithography and Printing Company in Brooklyn, New York.
- September 6, 1904- Willis Carrier applied for a patent for his Apparatus of Treating Air. The patent (Patent No. 808897), issued on January 2, 1906, was for the invention of the world’s first spray-type air conditioning equipment. This became the foundation for modern-day air conditioning.
- 1911- Willis Carrier developed the Rationale Psychrometric Formulae (the science behind designing the air conditioning system). This helped make Carrier a world-renowned name.
- 1915- Will Carrier founded Carrier Engineering Corporation. The first offices were located in Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia.
- May 13, 1926- Carrier introduced the first home air conditioning system.
- 1935- Willis Carrier received a honorary doctorate from Lehigh University.
- 1942- Willis Carrier received a honorary doctorate from Alfred University.
- October 7, 1950- Willis Carrier died in New York City.
- 1985- The National Inventor’s Hall of Fame inducted Willis Carrier.
- 1998- TIME magazine named Willis Carrier as one of their “100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century”.
- 1979- United Technologies acquired Carrier. This helped the company reform the global market in the HVAC field.
- July 7, 1993- To help preserve the original colors of Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel, Carrier designed and installed highly accurate humidity-measuring units nearly 30 feet above the floor. These units are not visible from the ground.
- July 8, 1993- Nearly two years before US Clean Air Act deadlines were established, Carrier stopped manufacturing Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-based chillers in the United States.
- 2008- Carrier secured nearly 70% of the HVAC contracts used in the venues for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Willis Carrier’s contributions to air conditioning helped countless industries grow and power the economy. For instance, air conditioning allowed for the manufacturing of baked goods and enabled summer blockbusters to become a hit. Furthermore, air conditioning aided in transatlantic flights and the existence of computers. As summers continue to grow hotter and longer each year, air conditioning has almost become an essential component of life in many parts of the world.
Life as we know it would be very different had air conditioning not been invented back in 1902, and we have Willis Carrier to thank for that.