Did you know the Air Conditioner was invented thanks to Printing?

If you did not know, Do Not be disappointed. Almost no one else knew this either.

Interesting Facts About the Air Conditioner:

• The first air conditioner was invented by Willis Carrier in 1902.

Not for the comfort we enjoy today, but to control the humidity in a New York Printing and Publishing house. It helped ink dry faster, reduced smudge and kept the paper from expanding and contracting.

• Movie theaters were one of the first public places to have air conditioning.

To get everyone to go to the movies, theaters would release big pictures in the summer. Hence the term “summer blockbuster.”

• Summer Vacation.

Summer vacation as we know them were originally implemented because of hot summer months. Schools buildings were so uncomfortable, the break helped students and teachers avoid the seasonal peak of high temperatures.

• The New York Stock Exchange Building in NYC.

This was one of the first buildings to use air conditioning in 1903.

• White House Gets Air Conditioning in 1929.

Herbert Hoover was the first U.S. president to have air conditioning in the White House. The U.S. government spent $30,000 to have an air conditioning system installed.

• Southern Population Growth.

The nation’s booming economies were primarily located in the Northeast until air conditioning made places like Arizona, Nevada, Florida and Texas more appealing.

This is the story of Willis Carrier and his Invention, the Air Conditioner.

On July 17, 1902, a young research engineer initialed a set of mechanical drawings designed to solve a production problem at the Sackett & Wilhelms Lithography and Printing Company in Brooklyn, New York.

The problem began with paper. In the spring of 1902, printing company Sackett & Wilhelms, found that humidity at its Brooklyn plant was a major problem with the color register of its fine, multicolor printing. Remember, back then it was not like today. Ink was applied one color at a time. The high heat and humidity would cause expansion and contraction of the paper stock. This caused poor quality, lots of waste and lost production hours and days.

Many experiments had been done to heat, cool and humidify air. Sometimes, as a result of cooling, they had also been able to reduce humidity. But precise control of humidity in a manufacturing environment—that was something entirely new. Willis Carrier, Cornell University graduate, who had already impressed many people at his company was the first step in making this a reality. Excited about the opportunity, Carrier immediately grasped the issues and began his investigation by means of rigorous testing and research, hallmarks of his long career.

Carrier began experimenting, replacing steam with cold water flowing through heating coils, balancing the temperature of the coil surface with the rate of air flow to pull the air temperature down to the desired dew point temperature. Even as he worked, Carrier knew that every part of the process—from metal coils prone to rust, to inexact Weather Bureau tables—could be improved. Nonetheless, he and his team moved steadily forward, completing drawings and began to implement them.

The first set of coils was installed at the Sackett & Wilhelms plant late in the summer of 1902 along with fans, ducts, heaters, perforated steam pipes for humidification, and temperature controls. Cooling water was drawn from an artesian well that first summer and supplemented by an ammonia compressor in the spring of 1903 to meet the demands of the first full summer of operation. This system of chilled coils was designed to maintain a constant humidity of 55 percent year-round and have the equivalent cooling effect of melting 108,000 pounds of ice per day.

The expirament was a total success. On October 21, 1903, this was reported in a letter, "The cooling coils which we sold this company have given excellent results during the past summer." Willis Carrier had demonstrated the intellect, creativity and vision to assemble everything that had gone on before him, improve upon it, and create something entirely new. The drawings were dated July 17, 1902. After that, nothing would be the same. Modern air conditioning was born.

The Launch of Carrier Air Conditioning Company

Sometimes genius arises in the most unlikely of places. For Willis Carrier, the moment of profound insight came in late fall 1902 on a cold, foggy train platform in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As he stared through the dense mist, Carrier recalled thinking, "If I can saturate air and control its temperature at saturation, I can get air with any amount of moisture I want in it. I can do it, too, by drawing the air through a fine spray of water to create actual fog." It was an insight so counterintuitive that it still dazzles. Willis Carrier realized that he could dry air by passing it through water, using the spray as a condensing surface. By 1903, he had completed the apparatus first visualized on that foggy Pittsburgh evening, the world's first spray-type air-conditioning system able to both wash and humidify or dehumidify air. Modern air conditioning now had its fundamental building block.

Soon after, Carrier conceived the idea of adjusting humidity by heating the spray water itself and controlling the dew point temperature of the air leaving the conditioning machine. With this came "dew point control" which, an early company brochure announced, was "the greatest single factor in modern air conditioning." In 1905, at the age of 29, Willis Carrier was made head of the Buffalo Forge Engineering Department, directing research and supervising all application and design. Shortly thereafter, Carrier's staff began referring to him as "the Chief," a name given out of admiration and respect. The following year Carrier authored a catalog which offered data about his air washer and included the first psychometric chart ever published. This catalog was designed to sell equipment and educate the entire industry. It also contained a prophecy from the Chief that "comfort" applications in public buildings, theaters, churches and restaurants would one day become common. This was Willis Carrier at his best, grasping a broad concept well before his peers while efficiently solving a specific engineering problem. This "practical genius" gave the company its most outstanding competitive advantage: sales engineers could sell air conditioning for almost any application, convinced that the Chief could design a system suited to their customers' needs. Carrier's focus on sound economics and practical applications was reflected in his most famous creed, described in terms of one of his favorite pastimes. "The 'catch' must be edible or I don't try for it," Carrier would explain. "I only fish for edible fish and test for useful data." The year 1907 would prove to be a historic one for Willis Carrier and his extraordinary invention. First, modern air conditioning leapt from the textile mill to the pharmaceutical plant with an installation at Parke, Davis & Company in Detroit, Michigan. Then, a proposal was made to the Huguet Silk Mill in Wayland, New York, guaranteeing a relative humidity of 65 percent throughout the entire year—the first promise of conditions and not simply equipment performance.

We hope you enjoyed this brief history lesson. This is another one of the many reasons why PRINTING is so important in the way we live our lives.