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The Heat Wave Without Air Conditioning? Unimaginable.

Happy birthday air conditioning, you're 110 this year!

 

Today temperatures are expected to climb into the high 90's, the National Weather Service has issued an air quality alert for the southern parts of Connecticut and some bigger cities are opening cooling centers.

Now imagine all this without air conditioning. That was the state of things during another heat wave in 1902, a blast of scorching air along the East Coast that led to the invention of air conditioning by a low-level engineer working for a furnace company in New York City. He figured out what many other well-known great thinkers hadn't for centuries; that if you removed humidity from the air it would cool things down.

Not only did that breakthrough allow millions to enjoy the cool environs inside office buildings and public spaces, but it provided engineers the dust-free conditioners that were required for the invention and widespread use of the first computers.

So while the summertime triple H conditions return today - heat, haze and humidity - and you retreat into whatever air conditioned interior you can find, give pause and a cool thanks to Willis Carrier, the engineer who invented air conditioning.

How are you keeping cool?

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