Feeling hot, hot, hot? Turn on the A/C. Nothing beats the cold breeze of an air conditioner on a hot, July day. But how did this glorious invention come about? Believe it or not, it’s all thanks to one man’s desperate search for a way to keep improving the air quality in Buffalo, NY.
The True Story Behind the Air Conditioner
But first, we have to go back—way back. Really, the intriguing story of the air conditioner stretches back to 1824 when scientists discovered that liquefied ammonia could chill evaporating air.
Interestingly, at this time, John Gorrie, a renowned physician, discovered compressor-generated ice. And, in 1824, Michael Faraday demonstrated his proven principles for refrigeration. These developments led to the birth of modern-day absorption machines.
Discovery of Compression Technology
The saga continues. A decade later, in 1834, Jacob Perkins, discovered the artificial ice manufacturing unit. Perkins’ unique ice machine eventually inspired modern compression technology. In 1906, Stuart Cramer first coined the term “air conditioning,” although the A/C we know and love hadn’t actually been invented yet.
The Father of the Air Conditioner
Enter Willis H. Carrier, who is actually credited as the “father of air conditioning.” What inspired Carrier to design this machine? When a local magazine printing company, Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing, was struggling with their air quality, Carrier came to the rescue. He searched for a way to keep the air from getting too dry.
With an engineering background, he patented a design for a product that could change the humidity in the air around you. The man developed the device that would dramatically change the world: the air conditioner was born.
The man invented the first-ever “Apparatus for Treating Air” unit back in 1902. It actually began as an air spray, but it developed as his research focused on temperature and humidity control. He also worked on offering air circulation and cleansing in his designs. Carrier created his machine to change temperatures between hot and cold as well.
Discovering Freon Gas
What else remained before the air conditioner that we use today? In 1928 Thomas Midgley discovered Freon. Scientists acknowledge Freon as a safer refrigerant that comes with benefits to humans. This is especially true if you compare Freon to other inflammable and toxic gases that were used previously—methyl chloride and propane.
There’s Something in the Air Tonight
Air conditioners are perfect for producing cold, refreshing, and blissful air. While some accuse these machines of promoting global warming, they’re not going away any time soon. In reality, many years of hard work from dedicated experts went into this machine. The science behind the air conditioner is truly revolutionary. At least, we’re fans.