Some inventions seem to have taken the popular imagination by storm: the light bulb, the telephone and, of course, the Internet, which, despite having remained the preserve of computer specialists and enthusiasts for many years, has become essential to our daily lives. Meanwhile, other inventions prove really hard for the general public to understand, especially those that are technical and not necessarily simple to explain. In recent years, cryptocurrency and its associated developments such as NFTs have made a first splash, although they haven’t been as disruptive as their evangelists once suggested they might be (for Forbes).
But one invention that’s somewhat surprising to hear has taken a long time to catch on is air conditioning. Today, air conditioning is incredibly popular, with nearly 90 percent of American homes expected to have it in one form or another by 2022, according to the US Energy Information Association. For many, being able to work in an office or sleep comfortably at home during the summer months would be impossible without it. However, despite how crucial and logical air conditioning is considered today, the early inventors of climate control systems had a difficult time making it a viable product for public consumption. It wasn’t until such systems began to be installed in movie theaters based on a design by a pioneering inventor named Willis H. Carrier – often considered the father of modern air conditioning – that the public learned that air conditioning actually works, and then spread to homes and workplaces.