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The First Single-Room Air Conditioner Was Invented In 1931

Most inventions start with a question and a drive to solve a problem that is consistent in everyday life. Air conditioning was one of those problems that have been around for thousands of years. Since the invention of the AC, air conditioning hasn’t been much of an issue anymore, but many people wouldn’t have the comfortable homes they have today if it wasn’t for the invention of the AC. Let’s learn about Air Conditioning Appreciation Day!

  • The Persians had underground tunnels used to transport water for crops, allowing hot air to cool down the water and as cold air would escape the upper shafts, it would cool down the basements and lead up to the inhabited rooms.
  • The Romans also had this same design, which helped cool off the stone walls and buildings so people could be comfortable. Ice has always been around, and the Roman emperors would use ice to cool themselves off.
  • Fans have been around since the Han Dynasty in Ancient China, and centuries later, the United States in its early formation would use these techniques along with damp sheets to cool themselves off.
  • Once Telsa made osculating fans, this led the way to the invention of the AC.
  • Herbert Hoover was the first president to install air conditioning in the White House in 1929.
  • The first common items that people used to keep cool were hand fans. Electric fans became the more popular and effective choice in the United States during the early 1900s.
  • The first residential air conditioning system was installed in 1914. It was 7 ft. high, 6 ft. wide, and 20 ft. long.
  • Because of the size and cost, only wealthy people with large homes could afford air conditioners. Systems cost anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000, which today would be like paying $120,000 to $600,000.
  • The first single-room air conditioner was invented in 1931 by H.H. Schultz and J.Q. Sherman. It sat on the ledge of a window but was very expensive. The average hourly wage was $0.64, yet a typical air conditioner costs $416. This means that someone would have to have worked 650 hours to afford it.
  • Summer vacations as we know them were originally implemented because of hot summer months. School buildings were so uncomfortable, the break helped students and teachers avoid the seasonal peak of high temperatures.
  • Schools weren’t the only institutions that shut down during the summer – government offices did too. Some historians credit air-conditioning for the growth of federal bureaucracy, as longer sessions for lawmakers were made possible.
  • Air conditioning became something of a status symbol after World War II. Window units were so popular, that over one million units were sold in 1953.
  • Air conditioning units were too expensive for most people until technological advancements made them more affordable. In the 1970s, central air conditioning began to be more commonplace. In the U.S., around 90% of home have an air conditioning system.
  • In 1882, Schuyler Skaats Wheeler invented the electric fan.
  • Willis Carrier invented the modern air conditioner in 1902, for the sole purpose of protecting paper and ink in a publishing company. And it wasn’t until 1906 when the term air conditioning was coined by textile mill engineer Stuart Cramer.
  • In 1903, the New York Stock Exchange became one of the first famous buildings to use air conditioning.
  • In 1913, Charles Gates built the first fully air-conditioned home in Minneapolis but sadly, he died just before he experienced to live in the mansion.
  • The field of medicine is one of the most benefited aspects of air conditioning. The formulation of important medicines and antidotes is made possible with the cool temperature inside the laboratories.
  • Studies conducted by American researchers show that the chances of dying due to extremely hot temperatures have decreased by more than 80% over the last 50 years with the advent of air conditioning.
  • When AC first started out, the output setting was measure in Ice Power, or how many blocks of ice it would take to produce the same amount of cooling power.
  • Before AC, homes were built with high ceilings, breezeways and other features to achieve cooler air.
  • In 1939, the automobile manufacturer Packard began installing air conditioning systems (called “weather conditioners”) in its vehicles.
  • Air conditioning systems helped coin the term “Summer Blockbuster.” One of the first businesses to utilize air conditioning technology back in the early part of the twentieth century were movie theaters. In the 1930’s, patrons flocked to theaters to enjoy the films – but also to enjoy the cool air during summer months. Marketers took advantage of this trend and saved their big hits for summertime releases. Thus, the term “Summer Blockbuster” became a part of our vocabulary
  • Over the next 30 years, demand for air conditioning is set to triple. Analysts predict that 5.6 billion buildings will have AC by 2050, and to make that happen, consumers need to buy 10 new air conditioners every second for the next 30 years. That’s the equivalent of 600 air conditioners every minute and 3,600 air conditioners every hour.

Sources:

Days of the Year

Action Air Fishers

Service Champions

Rhino Heat and Air

Dr HVAC

Greater Comfort

NETRINC

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