The starting point for the presentation was my 2011 research on the life and impact of Willis Carrier and modern air conditioning for Weathermakers to the World. (Shameless promotion: Time to buy a copy? It's on Amazon!) Over the last few months, thanks to UTC CCS, I was able to extend this research to include Charles and Jeremiah Chubb, Robert Edwards and Walter Kidde.
|The Kooh-i-noor diamond|
in its special Chubb cage.
|Edward's patent on the |
|Rickenbacker would not|
only survive, but go on
to own the Indianapolis
Speedway, and become
Chairman of Eastern
And, I have written about Dr. Carrier before in this 110th anniversary year of modern air conditioning, and was delighted to share his story with the broader UTC group last night. In going through my notes, I realized, too, that the world's first air conditioned babies--if they are still alive--will turn 100 years old in 2014. If you know anyone from the Pittsburgh area who might help us track down one of the individuals in the picture below, please drop me a note!
|The Carrier "baby incubator" at the Allegheny General Hospital in 1914,|
long before hospitals adopted air conditioning. I wonder: will one or
more of the world's first "air conditioned babies" turn 100 years old in 2014?
We think things move quickly now, but we've got nothing on these gentlemen. And they all have important stories to tell us.
Which also reminded me (in a second shameless promotion) that historians (and liberal arts majors more generally) can make pretty good strategists (so hire them along with engineers); both have to sift through mountains of information, separate signal from noise, and tell a compelling story that resonates with an audience. In an age of Big Data, God will bless the storytellers.
I concluded by reminding the folks at UTC CCS that they have--unlike most others--the huge advantage of being inspired whether they look to the past or the future. That's a pretty good place to be. I was thankful to be part of it last night.