Now there was another man who went by the name of Willis Carrier, a scientist and inventor who was born in 1876. Carrier is also known as the inventor of modern air conditioning. In 1902, Carrier submitted his drawings for what became known as the first modern air conditioning system. And, what was particularly important about Carrier’s work was that he discovered it was necessary to control humidity (something I always talk about), which in air conditioning lingo later became known as the “law of constant dew-point depression.” His work led to the understanding of the essential concepts of humidity which then led to the design of air conditioning systems that could control it. With that in mind, he filed a patent for an “automatic control system” in 1907.
Eight years later, Carrier partnered with six other engineers who brought together their lifesavings to form the Carrier Engineering Corporation in NYC. In the face of financial struggles after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the company merged with Brunswick-Kroeschell Company and New York Heating & Ventilating Corporation and formed Carrier Corporation, with Carrier acting as Chairman of the Board.
Needless to say, based on the fact that Carrier is still one of the world’s largest air conditioning manufacturers, the company went on to do quite well. After the company relocated to Syracuse, NY in 1937, it became one of the largest employers in the central part of the state. In addition, Toyo Carrier and Samsung Applications were started in Korea and Japan.
While the Great Depression and the world wars impacted commercial and residential use of air conditioning, it only took the post-war economic surge in the 1950’s that greatly revived its popularity. The Carrier company went on to be the first to design air conditioning systems that could cool large spaces. The invention or residential air conditioning changed the way Americans would live and helped start the great migration to the southern part of the United States.
It’s a shame that John Gorrie never got the chance to successfully patent and manufacture his product. And being that I’m in the business of air conditioning, I’m pretty glad that Carrier did.
As always, thanks for reading,
(You can view Part 1 of this article in this week’s issue of Island Sun or on www.SanibelAir.com)
Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air Conditioning company on Sanibel, FL. They also own and operate an island-based electrical service company Sanctuary Island Electric, Inc. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com