Willis Carrier: Biography
- Page created by SHH, 29 August 2008
- Contributors: SHH x3, Nmolnar x7, WikiSysop x1, Nbrewer x4, Administrator1 x2
- Last modified by Administrator1, 16 May 2012
Born: 26 November 1876
Died: 07 October 1950
Willis Carrier was born in 1876 in western New York to Duane and Elizabeth Haviland Carrier. He was an only child who spent a great deal of time tinkering with mechanical devices. His interest in engineering led him to a state scholarship at Cornell University, where he met his first wife, Claire Seymour. After graduating from Cornell with a master's degree in electrical engineering in 1901, Carrier took a job at the Buffalo Forge Company, where he set up a research laboratory and experimented with the industrial applications of electricity.
At the turn of the century, there was already an understanding of how to cool, circulate, and moisten air, but Carrier was the first to reduce air humidity and hold moisture content to specified levels. He defined air conditioning as a process that would clean air while controlling temperature, humidity, air circulation, and ventilation. In 1903 the Buffalo Forge Company installed the first scientific air conditioning system at Sackett-Wilhelms Lithography and Publishing Company in Brooklyn. Many companies that dealt with paper and textiles were very interested in the idea of improving their production processes by controlling the levels of moisture and temperature.
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