While this week is notably cooler than the typically humid hot box weather of Richmond, VA, a 90 degree outside temperature is enough to make us thankful for the perfect 76 degree inside temperature that welcomes us as soon as we pass the threshold of the doorway.

And who do we have to thank for the best invention ever (at least according to those of us with a low heat tolerance)?

Look no further than our forefathers of the print industry.  To curb the humidity in a Brooklyn plant and save paper from expanding and shrinking (which is why you should never keep a finished print project sitting in your hot car), Willis Carrier invented a cooling system to ensure productivity kept rolling.  Here’s a video to give you the entire history in less than two minutes:

Can you imagine what the days were like before air conditioning?  Imagine sitting in sweat, working over your computer, constantly patting away beads of sweat at your brow with your designated “sweat towel.” Gross.

If you have trouble imagining, and want to relive the good old days of endless pit stains and lingering B.O., Arthur Miller (American playwright most famous for The Crucible), gave readers insight into what life was like in the B.A.C. (Before Air Conditioning) era.  This is a really fun read, and makes you appreciate air conditioning (and the print industry for inspiring it!) so much more.

Enjoy the video, empathize for what your ancestors had to endure, and stay cool this summer!

By +Maggie Young


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