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#TBT: Defining Moments in A/C History – Part 1

The air conditioners we know and love today have come a long, long way. Just how long you ask? Allow us to use this “Throwback Thursday” to take you back in time to where indoor cooling technology first began.

1758 – Benjamin Franklin and John Hadley, a professor at Cambridge University at the time, began experimenting with liquid evaporation. They discovered that when alcohol and other volatile liquids evaporate it produces a cooling effect as they did.

1820 – Just a few decades after Franklin and Hadley’s discovery, inventor Michael Faraday made the a similar find across the pond in England. By compressing and liquefying ammonia, he was able to simulate a cooling effect that could freeze water.

1851 – A Floridian Hospital was one of the first buildings to enjoy the benefits an early air conditioner model. Dr. John Gorrie, a doctor at the hospital, built and patented a cooling system using buckets of ice and blowing air. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the financial backing to further his ideas.

1881 –
 On July 2, a blazing hot summer day in Washington D.C., President James Garfield was assassinated by Charles J. Guiteau. Navy engineers were recruited to create a cooling system to keep the President comfortable while he healed — which unfortunately never happened. The cooling device they created however, incorporated water-soaked cloth and fans that successfully lowered room temperature by up to 20 degrees.

1906 – 
The term “air conditioning” is finally coined by engineer Stuart Cramer! He created a ventilating device for his textile mill in North Carolina that regulated humidity levels, making spinning yarn much more efficient.

1914 – Air conditioners are introduced into the home for the first time — and by home we mean the mansion belonging to Charles Gates that is. Standing at about 7 feet high, 6 feet wide and 20 feet long, while air conditioned, the home was unfortunately seldom used.

1931 – At-home air conditioners saw some advancements at this time, when H.H. Schultz and J.Q. Sherman invented the first window A/C unit. Much like the individual space cooling units we use today, these sat conveniently on a window ledge, but cost up to the equivalent of $600k now.

Itching to learn more about your favorite summertime technology? Tune in next week for part two of our journey through the air conditioner invention timeline!

Tyler Heating, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration LLC is a full service heating and cooling provider, offering a wide variety of HVAC repair and installation services to New Haven County, Fairfield County and the surrounding areas. To learn more, call 203-378-4700and schedule an evaluation today.

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