Glancing Back: The Fourth Estate

August 15, 2001
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+


Back to the Future

In the August 18, 1952 News, there was a story on Time magazine’s August 11 article celebrating air conditioning’s 50th anniversary. As part of the article, Cloud Wampler, then president of Carrier Corp., made some predictions about air conditioning.

Wampler thought that air conditioning sales would more than double between 1952 and 1962, and that during that time frame, there would be 5 million houses with single-room coolers.

Man will forget, stated Wampler, “the day when he used to wrestle windows up and down, fight with screens, adjust radiators, and try to pacify furnaces. He will simply set a thermostat and forget it.…The nonair conditioned house is today’s horse and buggy.”

According to the article in Time, Wampler envisioned fully covered, air conditioned streets reserved only for pedestrians.

“The motorists,” said Wampler, “would use the roofs of the streets for driving their air conditioned cars. When we get to that point, we’ll get away from the one criticism we’ve met with — the fact that people don’t like to walk out of an air conditioned building into the terrific heat.”


You’re imagining things

This commentary originally ran August 18, 1969, under the headline “Air Conditioning Gives Me a Headache”:

“Customers and clients say it and we ignore it because the headache is all in their head. This air conditioning engineer cannot ignore these complaints any longer because air conditioning gives ME a headache.

“I think I get them when the air conditioning system is producing low relative humidities. Or, they could be an allergic reaction to fungus growth on coils. Something is causing them and the time has come to stop dismissing the complaints and to start listening. Please someone or somebody start a research program — aspirin upsets my stomach.”



In the August 19, 1974 issue, an article pointed out how essential air conditioning had become by that time all over the United States. By 1974, people were beginning to expect public spaces to be air conditioned.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that 285 mentally challenged patients in the St. Louis State School and Hospital sweltered while the air conditioning couldn’t be installed until the buildings were rewired.

The state office of administration later declared an emergency to get the 42 units installed rapidly.

The Kansas City Star graphically showed that city hall workers drooped in the heat, while the purchasing department had trouble obtaining fans. The city’s union employees worked on a drive to have city hall air conditioned; they pointed out that it was the only large office building downtown without air conditioning.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

Recent Articles by Cherie Preville

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Mini Split Installation

Twin Cities contractor Aabott Ferraro helped retrofit an older St. Paul home.


NEWSMakers: Doug Dougherty

Doug Dougherty, president and CEO of the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) joins the program to discuss the latest happenings with GEO, including the drive to get included in state and federal definitions of renewable energy, plus the future of geothermal.  Posted on July 25.

More Podcasts


NEWS 07-28-14 cover

2014 July 28

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe


Some in the industry are calling for the EPA to halt production of R-22 as of 2015. What do you think?
View Results Poll Archive


2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con