Summer is just around the corner, so it’s a perfect time to reflect on the history of AC (air conditioning). We want to help you get all your fun facts together and become the AC history buff you’ve always wanted to be!

Most people associate American inventor Willis Carrier with the first large-scale electrical air conditioning system. Yes, it was invented and used in 1902 by Carrier, but the chemical processes of rapid cooling go back as far as 1758. And guess who was involved? Perhaps one of the most prolific inventors of his time (or at least the man who gets the credit) – Benjamin Franklin. Franklin along with John Hadley discovered that the evaporation of alcohol can cool down a cylinder of water so quickly that it will freeze it. Later in 1820, Michael Faraday discovered that by compressing and liquefying ammonia, it created an instant cooling effect. Willis Carrier benefitted from these early discoveries and his invention became known as the first commercially successful air conditioning unit. He went on to found the Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America.

For a historical timeline of AC development which provide some interesting factoids, check out this article from Popular Mechanics

Primitive AC used in the old buildings of Los Angeles County General Hospital

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