1937: ‘Father of air-conditioning’ brings big business to Syracuse

Eighty-Four Years Ago: On a swelteringly hot July 4th morning in 1937, Syracuse residents awoke to a headline that made Independence Day a little bit cooler. 

After several months of negotiations between the city and Dr. Willis Carrier, the “father of air-conditioning,” Carrier Corporation purchased the mammoth former H.H. Franklin Manufacturing factory complex at 300 South Geddes Street, for the paltry sum of $1,000.  

It was a rather appropriate site considering; from air-cooled automobiles to air-cooling machines.

At that point in time, Carrier was based in Newark, New Jersey, but the company’s operations were spread out across five separate locations in two different states.  

Dr. Willis Carrier (far left) and Richard H. Pass, discuss the first ever centrifugal refrigerating machine, in 1946. The machine stopped working in 1950. The compressor of that machine was then donated to the Smithsonian Institution. Courtesy of the Onondaga Historical…

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