The Term “Air Conditioning” Coined

Stuart Cramerton

Stuart Cramer

On May 17, 1906, North Carolinian Stuart Cramer coined the term “air conditioning.” Though not particularly skilled as a textile executive, Cramer contributed significantly to the cotton mill industry by using his engineering and invention skills. In 1895, he established his textile business and, over the next 10 years, designed and equipped more than 150 (or roughly a third of all) cotton mills in the South. Cramer invested his profits back into his own mills, especially those in the community that came to bear his name, Cramerton.

A 1941 aitr conditioning manual in the collection of the N.C. Historic Sites

A 1941 air conditioning manual in the collection of the N.C. Historic Sites

Though he got his start in cotton, Cramer is best known for the role he played in the development of air conditioning. The holder of more than 60 patents, he pioneered humidity control and ventilating equipment for cotton mills and installed scores of such systems in plants across the South. In a paper read before an American Cotton Manufacturers Association convention, Cramer was the first to use the term “air conditioning.” Though credit for the invention of air conditioning does not belong to one person, the biographer of industry giant W. H. Carrier attributes 11 technological advances and “outstanding work which later had a large part in the air conditioning industry” to Cramer.

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5 responses to “The Term “Air Conditioning” Coined”

  1. Mike Lynn says :

    Never knew that! Hats off to Stuart Cramer, I don’t think I would be able to survive those hot summer months without any air conditioning units. Thanks for the article!

  2. 1912ramblerfan01 says :

    This article is incorrect. He may have been the first to use the term “air conditioning”, but Willis H. Carrier was the first to create (and patent) an air conditioning system in 1902, which would have been four years before Stuart Cramer’s innovations.

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