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7 Cool Facts You Definitely Didn’t Know About the History of Air Conditioning

History of air conditioners

It’s that time of year again…time to open the windows, clear out the closets, and start getting your A/C serviced and ready for what’s predicted to be a long, hot Boston summer.

But before we jump ahead to Summer 2016, let’s take a look back at the history of a technology most of us couldn’t imagine living without…our good ‘ole A/C.

7 Cool Facts You Definitely Didn’t Know About the History of Air Conditioning

  • Cool off the presses – In 1902, Willis Carrier invented the Apparatus for Treating Air for a Brooklyn lithography company to keep its press’ paper wrinkling-free and aligned. Based on his success in Brooklyn, Carrier established the Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America.
  • Chiller theater – Enterprising theater owners in the late 1910s installed units to rescue paying customers from their hot-box homes and apartments. Theater ads featured lettering dripping with icicles.
  • That’s cold! – The first U.S. president to enjoy an air-conditioned Oval Office was Herbert Hoover, who spent $30,000 on the system just months after the 1929 stock market crash.
  • I cool dead people – One of the earliest successful ventilation systems was used for cadavers in Cornell University’s medical school dissecting rooms (1899).
  • A cool million – After WWII, residential air conditioning became a way to keep up with the Joneses. More than 1 million units were sold in 1953 alone.
  • Cold and gold – Charles “Spend-a-Million” Gates – heir to a barbed-wire fortune – built the first fully air-conditioned residence in Minneapolis in 1913. The mansion also boasted gold plumbing.
  • Cold hard cash – In 1931, H.H. Schultz and J.Q. Sherman invented an individual AC unit that sat on a window ledge. The larger version of their cooling systems cost between $10,000 and $50,000 – equivalent to $120,000 to $600,000 today (luckily, you can get a much better one today for considerably less – contact us to learn more!).

Can’t live without your A/C? Make sure it’s ready to hit the ground running before summer is in full swing. Contact us for AC tune-ups, AC repairs, and cooling system installations for your home!