Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - For people at Carrier the documents detailing the first ever air conditioner and its history have a special significance.
“It was the design…the blueprint of the building and the design for Willis Carrier’s invention of air conditioning….this is kind of like the Holy Grail,” Carrier's Jon Shaw said.
Over 18 months, Shaw and a team of researchers took thousands of boxes of archives and compiled them into a table-top book, marking the 110th anniversary of Dr. Carrier's discovery.
“There were so many different correspondences and stories that really talked about him as being a genuinely good person…very well liked by the people that worked for him and people he worked with,” said Aaron Hugo of the Pinckney Hugo Group, who conducted research for the book.
In less than a decade from the invention, Carrier Air Conditioning Company was formed. The first few decades it began by transforming the way business was done in mills and factories and department stores.
Its use in the movie industry was monumental. Theaters that once closed in the summer due to heat remained open and, in turn, introduced people to air conditioning, which created a demand for air conditioning in homes in the 1920s.
"Last year between Memorial Day and Labor Day the movie industry did $4.5 billion worth of sales, so we like to think that air conditioning played a part in that,” Shaw said.
2012 marks the 75th anniversary of the Carrier Corporation’s presence in Syracuse, when Willis Carrier moved his company to an empty factory where Fowler High School now sits.
The book is on sale on Amazon for $20.