Really. I say it aloud as I turn up the tempo of Val's air conditioner.
It's this book I opened to learn about the invention of air conditioning. An article in a Popular Mechanic magazine filled in a number of facts as well. If you're interested in the marvelous invention of cooling the air in our cars, homes, stores, offices, airports, post offices, hospitals and pretty much every enclosed space that people in the U.S. of A. inhabit, read on...
In 1758 Cambridge University professor John Hadley and Benjamin Franklin, a man who just could not keep his fingers out of every invention pie of his time, discovers that alcohol and other volatile liquids, which evaporate faster than water, can cool down an object enough to freeze H2O.
Over in England, inventor Michael Faraday (1791-1867) in 1820 makes the same discovery when he compresses and liquifies ammonia. (that must have seriously stunk up his lah-bor-a-tory)
Mr. Faraday, who had a long association with the Royal Institution of Great Britain, in his lab. I hope all those bottles were labeled.
On to 1881, July 2nd to be precise, the day President James Garfield, 20th United States president, is shot by a wannabe assassin. Naval engineers scramble to build a boxy makeshift cooling unit to keep him as cool and comfortable as possible. The unit is filled with water-soaked cloth. An overhead fan blows hot air which helps keep cooler air closer to the ground. Good news and bad news here: Good - room temp gets lowered by up to 20 degrees F. Bad news: In two months this cooling unit eats up a half-million pounds of ice. Even worse news, President Garfield doesn't survive.
Two years into the 20th century, 1902, Willis Carrier invents the loftily named Apparatus for Treating Air for the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Co. in Brooklyn, N.Y. Air gets blown over cold coils to control humidity and room temps which in turn keeps ink from running and the paper it's on from wrinkling. When other factories become interested in the benefits of his invention, Mr. Carrier establishes the Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America.
Willis Carrier, (1876-1950), considered the inventor of "modern" air conditioning.
(A Thousand+++ cool, Thank Yous, sir!)
Jump ahead eight years to Charles Gates's Minneapolis, Minnesota mansion. In 1914, the first AC unit made an appearance in a home. A ginormous appearance. At 7 feet high, 6 feet wide and 20 feet long it took up a lot of space and ended up being space that was needlessly used up because no one lived in the house at the time. Guess he just had a lot of money to burn. Or cool.
Now we come to what prompted me to write about this chilling topic...a car with air-conditioning. In 1939, James Ward Packard and his brother William Doud Packard, founders of the Ohio Automobile Company later named the Packard Motor Car Company, invent the first air-conditioned car. Not a user-friendly invention, however, because it didn't have any dashboard controls. Those came later. In 1939, if a Packard passenger got chilly, the driver had to stop the engine, pop open the hood, and disconnect a compressor belt. Could make for long road trips, hm?
To Mr. Hadley, Franklin, Faraday, Gorrie, Carrier, Cramer, Sherman, Shultz, Packard and Packard I shout out a huge: