Willis Carrier

Featured Story

Features, History, Williamsburg

Photo of Willis Carrier (left) courtesy of Wikipedia; Photo of air conditioners in NY building courtesy of Marcel Oosterwijk on Flickr

It figures, but history shows us yet another way Brooklyn was cool, like, forever–though this particular example is a bit more literal. A classic New York City heatwave was just enough to turn up the Brooklyn ingenuity in a junior engineer named Willis Carrier, who devised a system of fans, ducts, heaters, and perforated pipes that became the world’s first air conditioner. The problem: blistering temperatures that were literally melting the equipment in a Williamsburg printing house. The solution was one that had eluded centuries of inventors through sweltering summers. The system was installed in the summer of 1902, according to the New York Times, and Carrier went on to found Carrier Corporation. He had hit on the idea while walking in the fog.

It’s the humidity

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