Everyone one in Atlanta knows who Batman, Superman, and Spiderman are – what about real heroes throughout history? There are many everyday heroes – consider those who paved the way for the cooling industry. Dr. John Gorrie, Willis Carrier, and Henry Galson aren’t known to the average citizen, although in the heating and cooling world, they are giants.
Take a walk through the heating and cooling history and discover how these men impacted the way your home is cooled. Their dedication and technological advancements made residential heating and cooling possible in the United States.
The Invention of the Heating System Came First
Heating a room or home was simpler than figuring out artificial cooling. Hearths were the earliest method, followed by stoves made of clay in 800 AD. Even Benjamin Franklin made his mark in the heating industry with the Franklin stove, which was more efficient than other stoves of the time. It wasn’t until the late 1700s James Watt developed a steam-based heating system. Watt’s creation was powered by a central boiler and pipes throughout his home.
In 1805, William Strutt invented a furnace to heat cold air as it traveled through ducts and into rooms. It wasn’t until 1919 when Alice Parker patented the first ever central heating system. Parker’s invention paved the way for more advancements in the heating industry, including convection wall heaters, ground-source heat pumps, solar air heating, and finally the “smart” technology of today.
Who Was Dr. John Gorrie?
Dr. John Gorrie was an inventor and a physician in Florida who suggested protecting residents in cities against high temperatures. He thought keeping citizens cool would prevent diseases and increase comfort indoors. His first idea of a cooling system was tried in hospital rooms using ice transported from frozen streams and lakes.
Dr. Gorrie was the first person to experiment with artificial cooling using a machine. The machine created ice with the use of a compressor. The power for the machine came from a horse, water and steam and his patent for his invention was successful in 1851. Although Dr. Gorrie was never able to sell his machine on the open market, he did pave the way for modern refrigeration and air conditioning.
Who Was Willis Carrier?
An engineer by the name of Willis Carrier designed the first modern electrical air conditioning system. Carrier began working on an invention to control humidity and temperature in 1902, which led him to control humidity with cooling coils. He realized the impact of this goldmine and formed the Carrier Engineering Corporation with six other engineers. Willis Carrier’s invention brought artificial cooling to many businesses and public venues, including movie theaters in the 1920s.
Americans were able to experience the cool air indoors while packed with other patrons watching actors on the big screen. The first cooling systems in theaters were heating units altered with refrigeration equipment. The cold air was distributed throughout the theater through floor vents, resulting in moviegoers leaving with cold feet.
It wasn’t until 1922 when cooling systems delivered air through higher vents, which improved humidity control in the building. Carrier kept improving on his invention and developed a cooling unit to reduce the number of parts and compressor stages necessary to cool a theater. This new system lowered the cost of air conditioners and increased their reliability.
Who Was Henry Galson?
The first initial cooling systems were too large and expensive for residential use. It wasn’t until 1929 when a smaller cooling system hit the market designed for homes. Unfortunately, this new system was expensive, heavy and required a separate condensing unit controlled remotely. Window air conditioning units would come next, and they were still too expensive for the majority of American citizens.
Engineer Henry Galson took the nation by storm with his more compact and affordable window air conditioning unit. For the first time homeowners could enjoy cool temperatures without costly upgrades. By the 1960s, central air conditioning units were common in new homes due to their affordability and compact sizing.
Many of these names aren’t famous outside of the heating and cooling industry although they impact the way homes are cooled and heated today. Estes Services take great pride in the men and women who made heating and cooling history, which is why we offer only the best Carrier and Mitsubishi air conditioning equipment and service possible to residents in Georgia. Call Estes Services today to schedule HVAC repair, maintenance or installation.