Origins of the Air Conditioner

Did you know that the first documented air conditioner wasn’t even meant to cool the air?  It was actually created to dehumidify the hot summer air.

In 1902, a young electrical engineer by the name Willis Haviland Carrier created the first modern air conditioner.  He worked at the Buffalo Forge Company and while there, he decided to look into how to solve the humidity problem for Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Company in Brooklyn, N.Y.  The company needed the air to dehumidify so the layered inking techniques they used could be applied properly.  They couldn’t be applied correctly because moisture would be absorbed into the paper stock at the plant.  Carrier realized that by treating the air inside the building by blowing it across cold pipes the air would cool as it passed the pipes.  Since cool air doesn’t carry as much moisture as warm air, the process reduced the humidity in the plant and stabilized the moisture content of the paper.  Carrier saw the potential and not long after air conditioners began showing up in stores, making the scorching hot summer months more bearable.

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