EDITOR'S NOTE: Eighty-five years ago this month (in May 1929), the first issue of HPAC Engineering, then called Heating Piping and Air Conditioning, was published. Among the inaugural issue’s articles was “Air Conditioning—New Prospects for an Established Industry,” by the man known for inventing modern air conditioning, Willis H. Carrier. On this Throwback Thursday, we take a look back at that article.


Twenty-five years ago "air conditioning" was an unknown quantity, either in theory or practice. Now it is a well established industry.

Willis H. CarrierToday, air conditioning is recognized as a scientific method by which it is possible to control manufacturing conditions in certain industries, so that the products do not vary in quality from day to day and from season to season. Not only is quality maintained, but the production is not interrupted due to unfavorable weather conditions. Thus the cost of production is decreased.

Air conditioning undoubtedly is effecting an economic gain in various industries throughout this country of millions of dollars annually. In some industries, air conditioning equipment has been known to pay for itself in the first month of operation, while in others, calculable savings are found to pay for the equipment in the first three or four years.

The intangible advantages may be even of greater value. On the estimated amount of air conditioning equipment in use, and the average return to the user which it produces, it is probable that the present economic saving in the United States alone is nearly $15,000,000 annually.

Any normally healthy industry, especially if it be a relatively new industry, will show each year a geometric progression in its curve of increase. The curve of the air conditioning industry is one which shows a doubling in volume about every five years. This, of course, is much more rapid than the geometric curve of the growth in population of the country. While this may be explained in part by the increasing per capita purchasing power of the individual, the principal reason lies in the fact that air conditioning has decreased greatly the labor as well as the capital required per unit of production in such industries. Thus, air conditioning, by lessening the cost of production, has not only increased the profits of the manufacturer, but it has ultimately increased the purchasing capacity of the individual.