Car Air Conditioning History

On hot summer days air conditioning can come in quite handy. Without it, you would be very uncomfortable in the car, particularly if you prefer to drive with the windows up. Have you ever wondered about how air conditioning came to evolve in vehicles? Continue reading to learn more about how it did!


A Cross-Country Journey

In 1903 a Packard Model F, nicknamed “Old Pacific,” was driven from coast to coast in the United States. At the time cars did not have any kind of enclosed cabin. However, to make themselves comfortable the car’s driver used a large umbrella for shade, especially to make it a little cooler during hot desert crossings!

A Convenience Cushion

In 1919 the Kool Kooshion seat cover began to be available with cars, and that feature actually still sells today at retailers. The Kool Kooshion uses springs to hold a driver about one half an inch above the car seat. This bit of space allows for air circulation under the driver. If there is sweat on a driver’s back it allows for it to evaporate and keep the vehicle’s operator cool.

The Knapp Limo-Sedan Fan

In the early 1920s the Knapp Limo-Sedan fan came to cars. The Knapp Limo-Sedan fan was a small electric fan added to the car’s cabin. These fans, connected to the vehicle’s battery, helped to evaporate sweat on the passengers and driver and created a breeze. People also liked the fans because they kept flies, mosquitos and other insects away.

Something Like The Present Day Car Cooling System

In 1939, Packard was the first car manufacturer to make air conditioning available in their cars. You might be thinking that this looked something like the modern day air conditioning unit between the driver and front passenger seat, but that wasn’t the case. The air conditioning unit of 1939 was in the trunk. You also had to manually install or take out the drive belt from your air conditioning compressor to turn this system on or off. Sounds like a pain, but this was a great thing to have in vehicles at the time. However, this contraption didn’t last for long because of its price: about 20% of an individual’s yearly income at the time.

The AMC Ambassador

By 1969, over half of all vehicles made in the United States came with air conditioning. Just before this time, the AMC Ambassador was the first car that came with air conditioning by default–the driver didn’t need to order it from a list of optional equipment!

Today’s Air Conditioning

As indicated above, in present-day vehicles we have air conditioning units that didn’t exist in cars many decades ago. Today there are discussions occurring about potential new air conditioning refrigerant systems. Just about every vehicle sold on the market today has air conditioning. If you ever have any issues with your air conditioning, you know where to turn to for a repair: Len Stoler, a local Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM car dealer in Westminster, MD!

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Published on: June 25, 2016

Filled Under: Autos Articles

Views: 2279

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