Ideas ahead of Their Time... or Right on Time
How did a cobbler design the basic air-side heating and ventilating system we still use today? Why do we call it "air conditioning"? How did refrigerators come to have door shelves? Does the invention of the hermetically sealed compressor really trace back to a monk who wanted to cool wine?
Adventures in Heat & Cold: Men and Women Who Made Your Lives Better answers these questions and more. This book tells the stories of 18 men and women whose pioneering innovations have had far-reaching influence, detailing their technical advances and sharing interesting aspects of the lives of these inventors who in many cases are relatively unknown and whose contributions are either unknown or forgotten.
Many of the stories are about innovations that required considerable personal sacrifice, as with physician John Gorrie, who essentially invented comfort air conditioning but who died at a young age, despondent over a lack of acceptance of what he considered was a humanitarian ideal. Then there are stories about David Boyle and Constance West, who had ideas that required the help of their spouses to achieve success. There are stories of people who were so devoted to innovation that their ideas took precedence over financial gain, as in the cases of Frederick Jones and Charles Tellier, and there are stories of people who saw success with their ideas in the professional and corporate world, namely Henry Galson, Margaret Ingels, and Roderick Kirkwood. Some stories concern individuals who did not initially have great interest in the fields of air conditioning, heating, or refrigeration but had related ideas that required commitment to new careers, as was the case for shoemaker Benjamin Sturtevant, textile engineer Stuart Cramer, and farmer Madison Cooper. Some of the stories tell of individuals who were intensely active in one area for a short time then move on to different interests or careers, like Marcel Audiffren, Helen Donnelly, and Robert McNary. And of course there are also stories of the geniuses--Carlyle Ashley, Ole Fanger, Mary Pennington, and Gardner Voorhees.
Every story herein is about someone who made a contribution to make life better. These stories will inform, entertain, and hopefully inspire you to innovate and make life better, as well.