Air conditioners may seem like a staple of society, and many places across the country and the globe can’t survive the summer without them. But what did we do before these air-cooling machines were invented?
Let’s go all the way back to ancient Egypt, where, like most technological innovations, its roots can be traced. Egyptians found that by hanging wet reeds in their windows, the entering air was cooled as the water evaporated.
Next up are the Romans, who were some of the greatest engineers of all time–modern day plumbing is credited in much part to their aqueducts and underground piping systems. They also used those pipes to heat and cool their houses, as the rich ran the pipes under the floor.
Going a completely different route, in the Middle East architects made giant buildings called wind catchers. These were towers made up of four windows that created a cyclone effect with the wind, having the cool breeze from the ground funneled up and having the hot air escape.
Those methods were all operable without the constant use of manpower. Many other ideas, such as rotary fans and hydraulic power, required constant maintenance and manpower at all times.
Yet, in 1841, British engineer David Boswell Reid created what was considered the first air-conditioned building, St. George’s Hall, when he worked out a way to control the temperature of a room using steam power.
In the early 1900’s, Willis Haviland Carrier invented the first all-electric air conditioning unit, surpassing all previous machines and designs. Yet, that could not have been accomplished without the innovations made by his ancestors.
Do you think you would have survived in a world without air conditioning? Let us know in the comments below!