Comfort is on the Horizon

110 Years of Cool

110 Years of Cool

The Birth of Modern Air Conditioning

While not quite a national holiday, many homeowners would agree that it almost should be. July 17 is the day air conditioning was invented and this year marks its 110th anniversary.

Willis H. Carrier is credited for inventing the air conditioner which he utilized at a printing plant in Brooklyn, New York to keep ink impressions on paper on very hot days. Since that historical day he obtained over 80 patents on devices that controlled air temperature, ventilation, indoor air and humidity.

History of the Modern Air Conditioner

  • July 17, 1902: Willis Haviland Carrier invented the first modern air-conditioning system.
  • 1915: Carrier Engineering Corp. was started by seven men with $32,600 in capital. They would pioneer the new industry which would provide manufactured weather to factories and workshops across the country.
  • 1922: Willis H. Carrier unveiled his centrifugal refrigeration machine, an invention that provided safe and efficient cooling and paved the way to air-conditioned theaters, stores, offices and homes. The first centrifugal chiller was installed in a Philadelphia candy manufacturing plant.
  • 1924: The Palace Theater in Dallas and The Texan in Houston became the first movie theaters to install complete Carrier air-conditioning systems. Movie theaters would become the place that most people experienced air conditioning for the first time.
  • 1931: Air conditioners were added to railroad cars for the first time.
  • 1940’s: Household air conditioners began to be installed in the Fort Worth area.
  • 1946: San Antonio introduces the world’s first air-conditioned city bus.
  • 1949: The world’s first fully air-conditioned airplane took flight, a Boeing Aircraft Stratocruiser for Pan American Airways.
  • 1952: Air conditioning celebrated its 50th anniversary — it had become a billion-dollar industry, as units were installed in factories, offices, stores, homes, hospitals, hotels and skyscrapers.
  • 1978: Lennox first manufactured electronically controlled, multispeed air handlers.
  • 1980’s: Nearly 75 percent of all educational buildings in the U.S. had air-conditioning.