Whatever the inventions we see today, were used in ancient times in some way or the other although in very primitive manner. From air conditioning to automobiles, every invention has evolved step by step and has finally reached the peak.
Air conditioning concept too was known to the people of Rome in ancient times. Archaeological discoveries reveal that aqueduct water circulation through walls was prevalent in those days and the elite class used to implement this technique so as to keep their houses cool in summer. Since the process was very expensive only the affluent class could afford such a luxury. In the medieval period as well the Persians used wind towers and cisterns to keep the buildings cool during hot weather. The cisterns were nothing but large open pools in which the rain water got collected and when the water evaporated it brought cooling effect in the building. The wind towers further carried on the cooling process by catching wind from the windows thereby managing a cool airflow throughout the building.
Willis Carrier invented air conditioning in 1902. Carrier was an engineer by profession and came from the east coast of America. He started off as an employee in a heating company. During the starting of twentieth century, Carrier was assigned the task of reducing the humidity in a printing shop as too much humidity was posing the problem of bleeding of ink in the printing press. Even before that, efforts have been made to design air conditioning system. But those efforts were not successful. Carrier invented mechanical humidity controller in which the air after passing through the filter rolled over a coil which contained a coolant. Even today, the air conditioners work on this principle. Carrier Engineering Corporation established by Willis Carrier in 1915 even now is the leading air conditioner manufacturer in the world.
The earliest air conditioners released harmful, toxic and flammable gases like ammonia and propane in the atmosphere. There leakage could be fatal for life. Hence nowadays, use of environmental friendly gases is recommended. In the wake of global warming and its side effects, this has become all the more important.
Earlier, air conditioning systems were only used for industrial purposes and were not thought off as a personal luxury. With the advancement in the chemistry, in the 19th century, the air conditioners really undergo lot of improvisation due to which they became easy and more feasible for manufacturing. The reason it is considered one of the greatest inventions of all is that it not only controlled the temperature but also successfully checked the humidity in air. But at first business houses and industrial units installed those to increase output at the workplace. Then in the 1950s it shifted to theatres, department stores and factories. And today you can see them all over, from houses to car; every place has air conditioners for cooling comfort and luxury.