As a youngster, I enjoyed the winter, but looked forward to the summer. Now that I’m older, summer is too hot and winter is too cold. Sheesh. Seems like an old gal just can’t catch a break.
This past week, Michigan’s heat wave has been one for the books. Ugh . . .
Towards the end of our first record-breaking day, with temps of 102 degrees, my electricity went out. Just like that. Done. Over. Nadda. Adios TV, adios lights, adios air conditioning.
Hello humidity . . . humility . . . heartache. Okay, maybe not heartache, but a lot of whining, for sure. Why does this always happen to me?
“Lord, you’ve mistaken me for Job! I’m Julia!”
After groping in the grey for a power bill with a phone number, talking to a computerized automated system for several minutes, and waiting through an unimaginable hold time, I was told that a power restoration time could not be estimated and that I was free to call back for an update. I was left pitifully powerless.
The heat had its affect on all of us.
Allie did this:
Baxter did this:
And I did this:
(I would’ve done THIS anyway!)
I tried reading by candlelight but the air got thicker and I started to panic, so I settled for a restless sleep.
During the night the power came on; the television blared, the floor fan whirred, and the air conditioner purred like a beautiful baby kitten.
I thanked God, (and DTE Energy), smiled, and went back to sleep.
In the morning, I awoke and realized something disturbing; I can’t survive without air conditioning! I’m a modern girl, a whimp, a lightweight! I admit it! I don’t have a tough bone in this calcium deficient, decrepit, old bod.
It got me to thinking: Who invented air conditioning?
So I Googled it and this is what I learned.
In 1902, only one year after graduating from Cornell University with an Engineering degree, a young Willis Haviland Carrier was challenged by a Brooklyn printing company to solve their temperature and humidity problems. Carrier carried us into a new era with the invention of the first reliable and stable air conditioning unit that addressed humidity control.
(Employed by the Buffalo Forge Co. for a starting salary of $10.00 PER WEEK.)
Other temperature-sensitive industries, like tobacco, breweries, bakeries, and food processing plants, were quick to prosper from the new invention.
In 1924, the first “human cooling”, (rather than industrial cooling), units were installed in the J.L. Hudson Store in Detroit, Michigan.
And in 1928, Carrier developed the “Weathermaker”; the first residential air conditioner. Yay!
So today, it is with enormous gratitude that I dedicate this week’s blog to my new hero, Willis Haviland Carrier, who is soley responsible for my spoiled and luxurious 21st century survival.
I raise a glass to you, Willis; your insight and ingenuity have allowed me to live healthy, happy, comfortably, and . . .