Air-conditioning America

Air-conditioning America

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In this study, Gail Cooper shows that, from the outset, air conditioning has been the focus of conflict and controversy - well predating today's concerns about fluorocarbons and global warming. While a technical elite of designers, inventors and corporate pioneers articulated a comprehensive vision of the new technology, their ideas were challenged by workers, consumers, government regulators, business competitors and rival professionals. Beginning with two famous air conditioning installations in 1904 - the New York Stock Exchange and the Seckett-Wilhelms Printing Company - Cooper describes the efforts of engineers to achieve artificial climate indoors. Such man-made weather helped transform the new motion picture theatres of the teens and twenties into the sumptuous palaces of luxury and comfort. The text is the story of how the grand vision of a new technology was shaped by the realities of the changing world of mass production, engineering professionalism and consumer demand. It provides new insight into how engineers and technical expertise fit into these complex forces of modern life.This dissociation of cooling equipment from the building was implicit in the transformation of air conditioning from a central ... Window units were perfect for the renter, for the transient, for those stuck in traditional buildings that made no ... This was especially important during the Depression, when some formula for business prosperity had to be reconciled with the consumera#39;s diminished capacity to buy.

Title:Air-conditioning America
Author:Gail Cooper
Publisher:JHU Press - 2002


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