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Date Published:

May 21, 2014


How Air Conditioning in Edmonton and the World Came to Be

What if you lived in an era before high-tech air conditioning in Edmonton and other cities of the world was invented? Have you ever imagined what your summer days would be like back then? You (along with millions of other people) probably can’t – as well as LiveScience.com contributor Elizabeth Palermo.

She’s definitely one of those who regularly “sung praises of air conditioning on a sweltering summer day” (as written in her LiveScience article), and she writes that modern consumers have one man to thank for such a “refreshing convenience” – American engineer Willis Carrier.

Mr. Carrier, though not exactly the first person to introduce the theory of air cooling and put it to practice, was credited with the invention of the modern air conditioner. However, before he made it work, people have already devised ways to keep themselves cool as far back as Ancient Egypt.

Living in the arid desert left Ancient Egyptians searching for ways to beat the heat. Tomb paintings depicted slaves fanning large clay jars filled with water, or hanging wet mats over doorways. In Ancient Rome, people cooled off by circulating water through the walls of their homes using their aqueducts. One Roman emperor, Elagabalus, even went a step further by having snow and ice taken down from the mountaintops to cool his home.

Fast-forward to modern times, the brilliant contributions of scientist Nikola Tesla gave way to Carrier’s history-making breakthrough. In 1902, while working for a Brooklyn printing plant, Carrier invented the first-ever air conditioner. However, the technology wasn’t primarily for human comfort; as its job was to control the humidity inside the plant to keep the paper and ink from being ruined.

Carrier’s innovation went a level higher in 1922 when he began developing the centrifugal chiller. It was installed at the Rivoli Theater in Times Square, New York on the Memorial Day weekend of 1925. That day marked the rise of air-conditioned public theaters, even giving way to the phrase “summer blockbuster” as more people packed the theaters to experience the coolness of Carrier’s invention.

Since then, the air conditioner has changed history as we know it. In the 30s, workers’ summer productivity rates soared because air conditioning spread to department stores, rail cars, and administrative offices. Even sunny locales that have been previously unbearable to live in became residential and commercial havens. People can now enjoy the summer season, and not worry about the sweltering heat.

Looking to enjoy the comforts of a modern, efficient AC unit? Then call up providers of dependable air conditioners in Edmonton like Capital Plumbing & Heating Ltd. today. Cool down your hot summer days, and experience the benefits of history-changing technology.

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