Carrier History

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Weathermakers To The World

Since 1902, Carrier has cultivated a history of proven innovation in the heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration industries, enabling global comfort and efficiency.

1876-1902 

The Invention That Changed the World

The World Before Cool
The World Before Cool

1876

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The World Before Cool

The world was a very different place before modern air conditioning. Read More

Before the invention of modern air conditioning, hot, steamy weather often meant lost work days and sleepless nights.

Slide Rule
Slide Rule

1881

Innovation

Slide Rule

This slide rule, a circular calculating instrument, was patented in 1881 and helped Willis Carrier invent modern air conditioning. Read More

Willis Carrier’s slide rule, a circular calculating instrument, was patented in 1881 and manufactured by Kueffel & Esser. At the slide rule’s core is a cylinder, or slide, containing a series of scales. Careful scale alignment yields the precision of a modern calculator. Carrier used this instrument to calculate dew point control, a breakthrough that was the foundation of his invention of modern air conditioning.

Starting the Engine
Starting the Engine

1902

Innovation

Starting the Engine

Carrier starts the engine that will drive the first modern air conditioning system. Read More

Willis Carrier starts the engine that will drive the world’s first modern air conditioning system, installed in the summer of 1902 at the Sackett & Wilhelms printing plant in Brooklyn, New York. This artist’s conceptualization appeared in the August 1954 edition of Steelways magazine, which noted, thanks to Carrier, that “air conditioning spread through the industry like a cool breeze.”

Carrier’s Beginnings
Carrier’s Beginnings

1902

Leadership

Carrier’s Beginnings

Before launching Carrier, Willis Carrier was an engineer at Buffalo Forge Company. Read More

A group portrait of the engineers of Buffalo Forge Company includes Willis Carrier (bottom row, third from right) and his future business partner, J. Irvine Lyle (middle row, sixth from left). Carrier, Lyle and five fellow engineers would launch Carrier Engineering Corporation as an independent entity in 1915.

Dr. Carrier, “The Chief”
Dr. Carrier, “The Chief”

1902

Leadership

Dr. Carrier, “The Chief”

Willis Carrier invents modern air conditioning in July 1902. Read More

The invention of modern air conditioning in July 1902 was just the beginning for Willis Carrier, whose contributions to efficient industrial production and enhanced human comfort over the next 50 years were so comprehensive that he became known as “The Father of Air Conditioning.”

1903-1914 

The Launch of Carrier Air Conditioning of America

The First Central System
The First Central System

1906

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The First Central System

Buffalo Forge Company begins selling Carrier’s “Apparatus for Treating Air.” Read More

Buffalo Forge Company sells Carrier’s “Apparatus for Treating Air” to the Chronicle Cotton Mills of Belmont, North Carolina, and applies it to the mill’s fan-heater ventilating system. It was the first industrial “central station” humidifying system.

Textile Plants Adopt A/C
Textile Plants Adopt A/C

1906

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Textile Plants Adopt A/C

The textile industry was one of the earliest adoptees of air conditioning. Read More

The textile industry was among the earliest and most enthusiastic adoptees of modern air conditioning. Here, buyers for New England Cotton work in a clean, efficient environment.

The Magna Carta
The Magna Carta

1911

Innovation

The Magna Carta

Willis Carrier presents his Rational Psychrometric Formulae. Read More

Willis Carrier’s Rational Psychrometric Formulae brought science to what had been the often hit-or-miss design of air-conditioning systems, and in the process made Carrier an international name. The chart would be updated and reprinted regularly, serving as an essential tool to generations of engineers and remaining the basis of today’s designs.

Carrier Around the World
Carrier Around the World

1914

Commitment

Carrier Around the World

Carrier air conditioning installations begin to spread across the globe. Read More

Almost from the start, air conditioning became an international phenomenon, with important installations of equipment designed by Willis Carrier reaching from North America to Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Central and South America.

Home Comfort Begins
Home Comfort Begins

1914

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Home Comfort Begins

The first residential application of Carrier air conditioning is completed.  Read More

Carrier achieves the first application of air conditioning in a residence for the Charles Gates mansion in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

1915-1921 

Manufactured Weather

Carrier Engineering Corporation
Carrier Engineering Corporation

1915

Commitment

Carrier Engineering Corporation

Willis Carrier and six other young engineers launch Carrier Engineering Corporation. Read More

Carrier Engineering Corporation had talented engineers and bright prospects, but little capital. Promoting the business and booking sales were essential activities in the company’s first few months of existence.

Contributing to the War Effort
Contributing to the War Effort

1915

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Contributing to the War Effort

Carrier air conditioning plays an important role in manufacturing during World War I. Read More

Carrier’s installation of modern air conditioning at the International Arms and Fuse Company in New Jersey was representative of the sophisticated work that the company performed during World War I, drastically improving the efficiency of workers.

A Woman Engineer
A Woman Engineer

1917

Leadership

A Woman Engineer

America’s first female air-conditioning engineer is hired at Carrier. Read More

Carrier hires Margaret Ingels as America’s first woman air-conditioning engineer, right around the time that the decision to allow U.S. women the right to vote was being debated by lawmakers. True to Carrier’s pioneering spirit, she was the subject of several articles in national magazines and served on President Herbert Hoover’s Conference on Home Building and Home Ownership in the late 1920s. Ingels also wrote Willis Carrier’s biography, published in 1952.

Newark Research Lab
Newark Research Lab

1918

Leadership

Newark Research Lab

A look inside one of Carrier’s early research labs in Newark, New Jersey.  Read More

This iconic photo of Carrier co-founder Alfred E. “Ned” Stacey shows him seated in the company’s Newark, New Jersey, research laboratory shortly after its founding in 1918.

A Mechanical Weather Man
A Mechanical Weather Man

1919

Innovation

A Mechanical Weather Man

The Mechanical Weather Man authors a book about the benefits of air conditioning. Read More

The Mechanical Weather Man authored his own book (with an assist from Carrier’s president, J. Irvine Lyle) in 1919, demonstrating the benefits of Carrier’s modern air conditioning in dozens of industries.

1922-1929 

Beyond the Factory

Centrifugal Chilling Takes Off
Centrifugal Chilling Takes Off

1922

Innovation

Centrifugal Chilling Takes Off

Carrier unveils the first centrifugal chiller in 1922. Read More

In 1922, Carrier unveiled the first centrifugal chiller, which opened the door to large-scale comfort air conditioning.

On the Way to 2,000
On the Way to 2,000

1922

Leadership

On the Way to 2,000

Carrier inspects the company’s first centrifugal chiller in Syracuse, NY. Read More

On the same day in 1950 that Carrier Corporation completed its 2,000th centrifugal refrigeration machine, Willis Carrier, Chairman Emeritus, visited the Onondaga Pottery Company in Syracuse, New York to inspect his first centrifugal, completed in 1922. The Chief found it in perfect working condition. This picture is thought to be among the last taken of Carrier.

Indoor Ice
Indoor Ice

1925

Innovation

Indoor Ice

Madison Square Garden employs Carrier centrifugal chillers to cool patrons and the ice. Read More

New York City’s “new” Madison Square Garden opened in 1925, employing Carrier centrifugal chillers to cool its patrons and produce a perfect ice surface for professional hockey.

Taking Comfort Skyward
Taking Comfort Skyward

1926

Innovation

Taking Comfort Skyward

Carrier completes its first multi-story office installation in Fresno, California. Read More

With Carrier centrifugal chiller equipment in the basement, and air conditioning on the roof, the T.W. Patterson Building in Fresno, California, cooled floors two through seven for its tenants, becoming Carrier’s first multi-story installation.

Central Air Goes Vertical
Central Air Goes Vertical

1928

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Central Air Goes Vertical

Carrier is part of the first skyscraper to install comfort cooling during construction. Read More

The construction of the Milam Building in San Antonio, Texas, included Carrier central air conditioning, making it the first skyscraper to install comfort cooling as it was built.

1930-1940 

Weathermakers to the World

Movin’ On Up
Movin’ On Up

1930

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Movin’ On Up

Sale of Carrier window-sill-height Weathermaster units begins. Read More

In March 1930, Carrier recorded the first sale of its window-sill-height Weathermaster units to the Superheater Company of East Chicago, Indiana, to air condition the second floor of a two-story building. In August, the California Bank of Los Angeles contracted for 490 Weathermasters to air condition its 15-story building. The U.S. Supreme Court was also cooled using 180 Carrier Weathermaster units.

Thailand Comes to Carrier
Thailand Comes to Carrier

1931

Commitment

Thailand Comes to Carrier

King Prajadhipok of Siam visits Carrier’s Newark facility. Read More

The August 1931 Carrier Courier featured a picture of His Majesty, King Prajadhipok of Siam, with Willis Carrier and a number of company senior executives during the King’s visit to Carrier’s Newark facility. Since that day, Carrier has been a leading supplier of air conditioning to the people and industries of Thailand.

Carrier Takes to the Seas
Carrier Takes to the Seas

1931

Innovation

Carrier Takes to the Seas

Carrier is on board the first cruise ship to employ air conditioning for passenger comfort. Read More

In 1931, the M.V. Victoria, a 13,400-ton Italian motorship designed to run from Italy to Egypt, became the first vessel to make its maiden voyage equipped with Carrier air conditioning.

A Preview of the Future
A Preview of the Future

1937

Commitment

A Preview of the Future

Carrier solidifies its strong relationship with Japanese customers. Read More

From the first sale in 1907 of Willis Carrier’s air-conditioning equipment to an international customer, the Fuji Silk Spinning Company of Yokohama, he and his company maintained close ties with Japan. Shown here in 1937, Carrier invited members of the Japanese Trade Commission to Newark Airport for a flight over the metropolitan area in a United Airlines Mainliner. United Airlines was once owned by United Aircraft Corporation, which later became United Technologies Corporation (UTC). UTC became the parent of Carrier in 1979.

The Igloo of Tomorrow
The Igloo of Tomorrow

1939

Innovation

The Igloo of Tomorrow

Carrier air conditioning takes center stage at the World’s Fair in 1939. Read More

When New York City organizers established a World’s Fair committee in 1935, they adopted the motto “Building the World of Tomorrow” and set about attracting companies and technologies that provided for “individual fulfillment and human progress.” Few fit this definition better than Carrier Corporation and modern air conditioning. The Fair opened in 1939 with nearly 1.3 million visitors flocking to the prominent “Carrier Igloo of Tomorrow” in the first 100 days. Inside the Igloo and in the adjacent Hall of Weathermakers, guests learned the steps involved in air conditioning, toured a modern food store using Carrier refrigeration, and viewed an exhibit with Carrier self-contained air conditioning.

1941-1950 

Distinguished Service

An Air Conditioned War
An Air Conditioned War

1941

Commitment

An Air Conditioned War

During World War II, Carrier focuses on supporting the Allied war effort. Read More

With its air conditioning products focused on industrial productivity, Carrier worked tirelessly in support of Allied troops around the globe.

Carrier Helps the War Effort
Carrier Helps the War Effort

1942

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Carrier Helps the War Effort

Carrier air conditioning plays an essential role in manufacturing supplies and munitions. Read More

In 1942 Carrier marked the 20th anniversary of Willis Carrier’s invention of the centrifugal chiller. The innovation famous for introducing the general public to air conditioning became, during World War II, a critical component in the efficient production of war materiel.

Refrigerators in the Field
Refrigerators in the Field

1944

Commitment

Refrigerators in the Field

Allied troops around the world enjoy safe, fresh food thanks in part to Carrier technology. Read More

Carrier’s contributions to the war included refrigeration products that insured the safe delivery and storage of perishable foods served to soldiers “6,000 miles from home.”

Keeping Transit Cool
Keeping Transit Cool

1946

Innovation

Keeping Transit Cool

Carrier equips the world’s first air-conditioned bus. Read More

San Antonio, Texas, touts “the World’s First Air-Conditioned City Bus” in 1946.

Willis Carrier Passes Away
Willis Carrier Passes Away

1950

Leadership

Willis Carrier Passes Away

On a trip to New York City on October 7, 1950, Willis Carrier passes away. Read More

On October 7, 1950, shortly before his 74th birthday, Willis Carrier died while on a trip to New York City. It was the end of a rich and remarkable life, the close of an era for both an industry and a company, but just the start of an enduring legacy.

1951-1978 

Growing With the Baby Boomers

Air Conditioning Turns 50
Air Conditioning Turns 50

1952

Innovation

Air Conditioning Turns 50

Carrier celebrates the 50th anniversary of air conditioning. Read More

On the 50th anniversary of air conditioning, Carrier President Cloud Wampler (right) and the president of the P&lE Railroad stand on the platform in Pittsburgh, where Willis Carrier first conceived of modern, spray-type air conditioning. In the background is Pittsburgh’s Gateway Center, at the time the world’s largest installation of Carrier Conduit Weathermasters.

Residential Community
Residential Community

1956

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Residential Community

The largest contract in the history of residential air conditioning is awarded to Carrier. Read More

In January 1956, Carrier won the largest contract ever awarded for residential air conditioning, jointly announced with the community building firm of Levitt & Sons, Inc. Carrier was able to provide Weathermaker central air-conditioning systems for 702 “Country Clubber” homes in Levittown, Pennsylvania.

Carrier Goes Mobile
Carrier Goes Mobile

1957

Innovation

Carrier Goes Mobile

By the 1950s, Carrier offerings span from large chillers to small units for mobile homes. Read More

Few pictures demonstrate the breadth of Carrier’s capabilities better than this 1957 shot from the Mobile Homes Show in the New York Coliseum (at the site of today’s Time Warner Center). A hostess turns the control dial on a tiny one-horsepower Roomette air conditioner for mobile homes, while behind her a Carrier centrifugal chiller provides cooling for the nine acres of exhibit space at the show.

Reimagining Refrigerated Transport
Reimagining Refrigerated Transport

1968

Leadership

Reimagining Refrigerated Transport

Carrier introduces the first front-wall refrigeration unit for containers. Read More

Carrier Transicold’s record of innovation included the first front-wall refrigeration unit for containers in 1968. Since then, it has pioneered work in everything from efficient diesel/electric installations to introduction of the first natural refrigerant container unit in 2010.

110 Floors of Cooling
110 Floors of Cooling

1971

Leadership

110 Floors of Cooling

The contract for air conditioning in the world’s tallest building is awarded to Carrier. Read More

Carrier is awarded the principal air conditioning contract for Chicago’s 110-floor Sears Tower, which when completed was the tallest building in the world.

1979-1993 

Expanded Global Reach

UTC Acquires Carrier
UTC Acquires Carrier

1979

Leadership

UTC Acquires Carrier

Carrier is acquired by United Technologies. Read More

The acquisition of Carrier by United Technologies in 1979 would reshape the global market for heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

Carrier Goes Digital
Carrier Goes Digital

1980

Commitment

Carrier Goes Digital

Carrier products play an essential role in enabling the technology that drives the Internet. Read More

Carrier products are providing efficient cooling to data centers all over the world, underscoring Carrier’s important role in helping make the Web accessible to people everywhere.

Environmental Stewardship
Environmental Stewardship

1990

Commitment

Environmental Stewardship

Carrier pioneers environmentally responsible products, services and education.  Read More

Carrier’s environmental stewardship has always included a strong education component and a commitment to the use of sound refrigerants well in advance of regulations and competitors.

Preserving a Masterpiece
Preserving a Masterpiece

1993

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Preserving a Masterpiece

Carrier engineers develop a brilliant solution to preserve the Sistine Chapel frescoes. Read More

Three decades of painstaking work highlighted the original colors of Michelangelo’s masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel but also left it exposed to the elements. Carrier’s preservation work included the use of highly accurate humidity-measuring units, like this one, placed on a ledge about 30 feet above the floor and invisible to visitors.

Global Sustainability
Global Sustainability

1993

Commitment

Global Sustainability

As a natural leader, Carrier leads the phase-out of CFC-based chillers in the U.S. Read More

Carrier ceases to manufacture CFC-based chillers in the U.S., two years before the deadline established by the U.S. Clean Air Act and 16 years ahead of requirements for developing countries.

1994-PRESENT 

Natural Leadership

Hitting the Century Mark
Hitting the Century Mark

2002

Leadership

Hitting the Century Mark

Carrier celebrates the centennial of modern air conditioning. Read More

On the centennial of modern air conditioning, Geraud Darnis, president of Carrier Corp., told an audience at the W. E. Grady High School in Brooklyn, New York, “Creating the Willis H. Carrier Academy is the ideal way to honor his belief that education and understanding are the keys to solving challenges of all kinds.”

Gold Medal Performance
Gold Medal Performance

2008

Commitment

Gold Medal Performance

Innovative Carrier technology puts on a medal-worthy performance in Beijing in 2008.  Read More

Beijing National Stadium, a major venue used when Beijing hosted international athletic competition and often referred to as the “Bird’s Nest,” featured Carrier air-handling units and the first Chinese-produced HVAC product certified by EN 1886, the highest international HVAC standard.

Carrier Takes the LEED
Carrier Takes the LEED

2011

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Carrier Takes the LEED

A Carrier commercial plant becomes the first of its kind to be LEED® Gold Certified. Read More

In 2011, Carrier’s Monterrey Commercial plant was the first industrial facility in the global heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold Certified.

To Infinity…and Beyond!
To Infinity…and Beyond!

2011

Innovation

To Infinity…and Beyond!

Carrier introduces the company’s most efficient air source heat pump. Read More

In 2011, Carrier introduced the Infinity® heat pump with Greenspeed™ intelligence offering the greatest heating efficiency of any air source heat pump.

110 Years and Counting
110 Years and Counting

2012

Leadership

110 Years and Counting

Carrier celebrates a legacy of innovation as modern air conditioning reaches a new milestone.  Read More

Carrier celebrates the 110th anniversary of the invention of modern air conditioning. Learn More at WillisCarrier.com