The outside temperature is going to flirt with the 100 degree mark all week this week. Hearing that made me think, once again, that with all of the people we celebrate with a day to honor in this country.
Willis Carrier ought to be one of them.
His day should come in late July or early August and everyone should get the day off to spend in a cool place. Carrier invented the modern air conditioner.
Where on earth would be on sweltering days like the ones we are going to have this week with dear Mr. Carrier? I don't know, but we would sweaty messes where ever we were.
"Genius can strike anywhere. For Willis Carrier, it was a foggy Pittsburgh train platform in 1902. Carrier stared through the mist and realized that he could dry air by passing it through water to create fog. Doing so would make it possible to manufacture air with specific amounts of moisture in it. Within a year, he completed his invention to control humidity – the fundamental building block for modern air conditioning," is a blurb on the Carrier Website describes the thoughts that led to the device that allows all of us to relax in the intense heat of the summer.
That same space says that Carrier was born in Angola New York in 1876 and designed the first modern AC in 1902. He founded the company that released this information in 1915. He died in New York City in October of 1950. Though we don't get any of those dates off as a national holiday due to his brilliance, in 1998, the folks over at TIME magazine named him as part of its "100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century."
For those of you who are struggling with a child or grandchild who is struggling with math, take heart. That same website said of Carrier, "Willis Carrier would grow up to solve one of mankind’s most elusive challenges – controlling the indoor environment. As a child, though, he had difficulty grasping the concept of fractions. Realizing his struggles, his mother taught him by cutting whole apples into various-sized fractional pieces. He later said this lesson was the most important one that he ever learned because it taught him the value of intelligent problem-solving."
So this week as you walk through the doors at your place of employment, shopping centers and homes and you feel that rush of cool air, think of Carrier and maybe say a little prayer of thanks for his hard work and his mom's determination to help her son out at school.