Happy 100th Birthday
July 16, 2002 7:28 PM   Subscribe

Happy 100th Birthday to one of the most important inventions of the 20th century, not to mention the coolest. I would bet that most people that are reading this right now, at least in the US and other parts of the Northern Hemisphere, are benefiting from this invention, originally designed to take the curl out of paper. It also made summer blockbusters like Mr. Deeds bearable. (I guess every good thing has some downside.)
posted by fpatrick (23 comments total)
Cool link! (bu-dum-bump)

(I had to.)
posted by precocious at 8:08 PM on July 16, 2002

As a permanent resident of climate control... my thanks go to him forever.
posted by Dean_Paxton at 8:17 PM on July 16, 2002

Good man!
posted by rushmc at 8:20 PM on July 16, 2002

Yay - a real hero. Here at home we have air-conditioning in every room (Mitsubishi actually, much better). Lovely. Makes our balcony look like a factory, but that's OK. The problem is, in a nutshell, the awful world outside. Very uncool. We have to sweat it out wherever we go.

Truly addictive, is air-conditioning.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:47 PM on July 16, 2002

I visited the Carrier factory at Syracuse in '99, and they had a bunch of old ACs there, really amazing stuff.
posted by riffola at 8:56 PM on July 16, 2002

This is the kind of thing that never would have been invented in san francisco. (current temp at 9:30 pm - 55 F)
posted by vacapinta at 9:27 PM on July 16, 2002

I don't like AC. I have to spend all day in a cold, sealed building designed less for us than for the machines we use. When I leave work at night, I'm glad to get out into unconditioned, unconditional air.
posted by pracowity at 9:50 PM on July 16, 2002

See, vacapinta? I've been telling you. Here I sit in my apartment at 68 degrees. No drug dealers stealing my goggles, no gay pride parades, and no smog. Technology has made California passe to all but the desperate and crack-whore.
posted by ttrendel at 9:53 PM on July 16, 2002

To clarify, I don't have a damn thing against gay pride parades. People of all preferences should celebrate their sexuality. I just don't want my 3 year-old niece to see a 45 year-old man in a leather thong.
posted by ttrendel at 10:00 PM on July 16, 2002

When you say 'smog' you must be thinking of LA or confusing it with san francisco's natural air conditioner.

Air conditioning is of course a godsend in cities like hot humid new york or boston. But I think what annoyed me there is that all the air conditioners in the narrow city streets, pumping out hot air, dripping moisture on your head, seem to conspire to make the outdoors even more intolerable, manufacturing, as it were, their own demand.
posted by vacapinta at 10:13 PM on July 16, 2002

okay, okay, I'll decalre a "booyah" in your favor vacapinta. good points.
posted by ttrendel at 10:26 PM on July 16, 2002

Oh, A/C. What could we do without it? Here in the Central American tropics, you can't afford to live without them and pretend you can still get the job done. Heat and humidity are freakin'hell high all year round, and a real pain in the ass if your main work involves you being sitting at the computer all day... a damn thousand Hurrahs to Mr. Carrier! :)
posted by betobeto at 10:36 PM on July 16, 2002

I've often been told of a survey that time magazine took of world leaders .. Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore opted for Air conditioning, having lived in Singapore for 3 years I can understand his point .. imagine working in a office full of computers in singapore without AC.
posted by mrben at 10:44 PM on July 16, 2002

do'h .. sorry .. the survey was on key inventions in world history.
posted by mrben at 10:45 PM on July 16, 2002

My top-floor apartment doesn't have AC, and that's why I sought exile to the campus computer lab at one in the morning. Hello.
posted by Succa at 11:02 PM on July 16, 2002

I bought the biggest, honkin' air conditioner I could for my new loft. I'm sitting here freezing right now.

New York is like a big, sweaty, stinky, damp armpit (in a leather thong), so I plan not to leave the apartment for the remainder of the summer.

I light incense and a candle to Mr. Carrier.
posted by evanizer at 11:34 PM on July 16, 2002

Hooray for AC and Mr. Carrier - I just finished (3 weeks ago) replacing the ancient HVAC system in my 31-year-old house (8-year-old outside compressor, mismatched to 31-year-old inside coil, blower, and heater unit) with a new high-efficiency, matched compressor and furnace/blower/coil unit. Also got a complete energy audit of the house and fixed EVERYTHING (insulation, solar screens, etc).

Right now I'm thanking the gods that I can get the house down to 70F (or even 65-68 at night, if I want) and not have the AC running constantly. I also look forward to normal (non-$500/month) electric bills.

pictures of the old and new systems here if you care. 8-)
posted by mrbill at 12:57 AM on July 17, 2002

vacapinta, if you think AC is a godsend in New York or Boston, try going to Tokyo or Hong Kong around August. And I'm sure some places are even hotter.

Here in San Francisco, the temperature is of course always great. Never too cold, never too hot, and inside it is always nice. Best of all, there's no humidity - and hot + wet is where AC is a true hero. Humidity just amplifies the heat so much more...
posted by swank6 at 2:50 AM on July 17, 2002

Lee Kuan Yew also suggested recently that Hong Kong should build a giant structure over the whole island and air condition that. I can see his point from a visit there (ready to walk out of hotel: fine, outside for 30 seconds: completely dripping), but it's a little impractical...
posted by kerplunk at 2:55 AM on July 17, 2002

Best of all, there's no humidity - and hot + wet is where AC is a true hero.

True enough, although it's rather essential here in Vegas at 115 F, too.
posted by rushmc at 6:29 AM on July 17, 2002

Ahhh, Seattle. Life without air conditioners is great.

(But I lived in Sacramento for too many years, so I understand their virtues...)
posted by Mars Saxman at 7:39 AM on July 17, 2002

carrier used to be a really big deal to the syracuse economy, community, etc. it was single-handedly responsible for putting syracuse on the map (as much as syracuse was ever on any map). plus there's the legacy of the carrierdome, where the syracuse university protestents (orangemen) play games.

i was born in syracuse; that's why i know/care.
posted by mlang at 7:52 AM on July 17, 2002

Yeah, rushmc, but if it were 115 F with 90%+ humidity, wouldn't it just be SO much worse? ;)
posted by swank6 at 2:31 PM on July 17, 2002

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