Back in 1902, a gifted engineer named Dr. Willis H. Carrier designed the first mechanical air conditioning system that provided a solution for the quality problems a printing plant in Brooklyn, New York was facing. The problem? When temperature and humidity changed from day to day, the dimensions of the paper naturally changed, causing the colored inks to misalign. This created delays and missed deadlines for the printer. Carrier, armed with old U.S. Weather Bureau tables and a slide rule, came up with a solution that stabilized the temperature and moisture in the air so the paper maintained its size, regardless of the ambient temperature or humidity. His solution ultimately became the design for the first modern air conditioning system.
Not only did Carrier invent modern air conditioning in 1902; today, Carrier Corporation says they have perfected it. How? By ceasing to manufacture chlorine-based refrigerants in the U.S. two years before the deadline and by announcing a worldwide phase-out, 10 years in advance of Clean Air Act requirements. In 1998, Carrier introduced the first line of high-efficiency air conditioners using Puron, a patented and environmentally sound chlorine-free refrigerant.
In 1998, Dr. Carrier was distinguished as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of the century. And though we may have become used to the air conditioning around us, Carrier continues to address problems with comfort and air quality in much the same way that Dr. Willis Carrier did when he started it all with the invention of the air conditioner in 1902.