It’s mid-July – s scorcher of a day. No, scorcher’s not the right word. It’s thick and sticky, but inside with an air conditioner in the window whirring away and the shades pulled down to block the sun it’s pretty comfortable. All hail Willis Carrier. It was this day in 1902 that air conditioning, kinda, sorta, as we think of it today, kinda sorta came into being. In a printing plant in Brooklyn. This wasn’t the day a unit got turned on, but was the date inscribed on Carrier’s blueprints.
We drove last night into the city in our air conditioned Honda Civic. It felt so good on such a hot night to be cruising down the West Side Highway with the AC pumping. Two years ago we would have been in our Subaru Outback that didn’t have AC. Check that. It had AC, it just broke about four years previously, and being that a new compressor was ridiculously expensive, we never fixed it. Just fixed to drive that car mainly when the sun wasn’t shining. But even then it was too damned hot in the car. Now, driving the Civic, the rush of cool air feels soooo good in comparison. Ah relief. Ah pleasure.
Many of us have a tortured relationship with our air conditioning. We wish we didn’t have to use it, but we are so happy we have it. I would much rather have the windows open and the air be manageable throughout the house. But this is not to be. There’s a book I want to read: Cool Comfort: America’s Romance with Air Conditioning by Marsha E. Ackermann. Mentioned today in an article in the New York Times which informed me about Willis Carrier.
Which doesn’t explain the picture on top. Tangential relationship. First post on this blog and I need an image, and this one was at the ready. It was taken in late May, early June, in Cape May Point, NJ. Rained all day; once it cleared biked out about five to the state park and it was foggy, misty and awesome looking. Had to go back for my camera and walk on the one of the hiking trails. Didn’t need AC back then, six weeks ago. Nature provided all she needed.