Carrier, Willis

Carrier, Willis (Haviland)

(1876–1950) engineer, inventor; born near Angola, N.Y. Raised on a farm, he attended local schools, won a scholarship to Cornell University, and graduated from there with an engineering degree in 1901. The following year, working for the Buffalo Forge Company, he designed a humidity-control machine for a New York printing plant. He went on to become the pioneer of modern air-conditioning systems, with over 80 patents; he also long dominated the manufacturing of air conditioners with the company he headed, Carrier Corporation (1915–48). By 1930 Carrier air conditioners were cooling more than 300 theaters, and in 1939 he invented a practical air-conditioning system for skyscrapers.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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Only one refrigerated carrier, Willis Shaw Express Inc.