Articles tagged with: Willis Carrier

The First Definition of Air Conditioning

carrier adIn 1908, G.B. Wilson authored a book titled “Air Conditioning, Being a short treatise on the Humidification, Ventilation, Cooling, and the hygiene of Textile Factories – especially with relation to those in the U.S.A.”. Wilson created what is thought to be the first functional definition of air conditioning. This same definition is what Willis Carrier, the “father of air conditioning” adhered to in his manufacturing of air conditioners.

  • Maintain suitable humidity in all parts of a building.
  • Free the air from excessive humidity during certain seasons.
  • Supply a constant and adequate supply of ventilation.
  • Efficiently remove from the air micro-organisms, dust, soot, and other foreign bodies.
  • Efficiently cool room air during certain seasons.
  • Heat or help heat the rooms in winter.
  • An apparatus that is not cost-prohibitive in purchase or maintenance.

For the most part, these statements still accurately define what modern air conditioning systems accomplish today, more than 100 years later.

The Invention of the Modern Air Conditioner

Willis Haviland CarrierIn 1902, Willis Haviland Carrier developed the first modern air conditioning system.

He was a young electrical engineer trying to solve a humidity problem at the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Company in Brooklyn, N.Y. In the warm summers, paper stock at the plant would sometimes absorb moisture which made it difficult to apply the layered inking techniques.

Carrier caused the air inside the building to blow across chilled pipes. The cooled air didn’t carry as much moisture as the warm air. The process reduced the humidity in the plant, which stabilized the moisture content of the paper. This experiment to reduce the humidity had the side benefit of lowering the air temperature, but turned out to be an important step in creating modern air conditioning system.

Carrier had become the father of cool!