On July 17,
1902, Willis H. Carrier invented air conditioning - originally
designed to solve some quality problems at a Brooklyn printing
It not only
spawned a company and an industry, but also brought about profound
economic, social and cultural changes. As far as trucking is concerned,
imagine the jobs and services that otherwise would not exist -
each day, truckers haul goods in all regions of the country ranging
from fresh fruit and vegetables to chilled wine.
the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) reports
that 27 percent of its members pull reefers.
By the end
of the 20th century, 80 percent of U.S. homes were air conditioned,
according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Perhaps the most dramatic
impact of air conditioning has been in previously "inhospitable"
climates like Atlanta, Sao Paulo, Cairo and Singapore. Some even
credit Carrier for the rise of the New South and the Sun Belt.
when asked to name the most important invention of the 20th century,
Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew cited the air conditioner.
Before air conditioning, commerce in the city-state just north
of the equator was confined to the early-morning hours.
which bears its founder's name, has manufactured some 100 million
air conditioning units in the past 100 years. And now it's heralding
the 100th anniversary with a celebration designed to achieve widespread
recognition for its founder -- an astonishingly "unsung hero."
the immense impact of air conditioning on humankind, Willis Carrier
is still surprisingly unknown," said Geraud Darnis, president,
Carrier Corporation. "We think he should rightfully be viewed
by historians and the public as one of the world's greatest inventors."
-- Dick Larsen, senior editor