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Given that New York is on the same latitude as Rome, how warm is it in Savannah, about 1,000km south? As you can see in the picture, ways have been found to protect oneself from direct sunlight on the street. Much of Savannah does this. 1902 is a kind of fateful year for an invention that plays the decisive role in this book. It was unbearably hot that year, even in New York. But oddly enough, air conditioning wasn't invented primarily to cool homes. Rather, it was a print shop that suffered from excessive or fluctuating humidity.

You should take a closer look at the American term 'Air Condition'. There is nothing in it about air cooling, but the air is 'conditioned' differently. Obvious to hire a fan heater company and their young engineer Willis Haviland Carrier modified the existing heater so that the air in the pipe was cooled from the outside with water, thereby losing moisture.

The fact that the air also cooled the rooms was initially a side effect, but it brought many more holidaymakers from the cooler north to countries in the equatorial zone, for example. Savannah in Georgia, on the Florida border, arguably benefited as well. Just as one could protect oneself with warm clothing in Nordic countries, there was now 'air conditioning' in the hot south.

With the first cars, neither air conditioning nor ventilation made sense because you were sitting in the wind anyway. Their construction is called e.g. 'tonneau' because it was open, usually without the possibility of protection from rain. You had to dress appropriately for a trip, including a rain blanket. For a long time, at least the driver, like the coachman, remained exposed to all kinds of weather.

Closed superstructures are gradually finding the way into automotive technology. First of all, you were glad to have shut out the outside world. But then the problem of the summer heat arose. You encountered this in the simplest possible place, namely at the front. Since crank windows were not yet standard, you simply open the windshield partially or completely.

Such cars are still on the road, such as the VW bus, which has become quite expensive and is built as a T1 until 1967. Of course, when talking to the passenger, it was possible that the one or the other fly can fly straight into your mouth. There are also health concerns about drafts. Today, for example, the exchange of indoor air can be effective, but it should be as imperceptible as possible.

A separate channel, e.g. from the front air intake grids through the entire engine compartment, offered better adjustability and filtering. From German production there was the Ponton Mercedes 180 (W 120) built from 1953, whose two chrome-plated openings were clearly visible next to the radiator grille. In the next model, these openings were already in the bonnet just in front of the windshield.

It was the birth of the water tank, some of which can still cause problems today, e.g. when its water drains are blocked by autumn leaves. Behind this construction is the idea of sucking in the so-called fresh air from a higher point, because there may be fewer exhaust gases and other unfavorable components there. However, the dynamic pressure, which is often insufficient here with bodies that are always aerodynamic, requires an electric fan.

However, before the desire for fresh air came the desire for heating, which also came into cars quite late and at the beginning of this development was by no means part of the standard equipment, at least up to the middle class. You really had to order them as an extra. Although the VW Beetle had it as standard thanks to its air-cooled engine, it was not blessed with any special heat output.

Another problem became apparent on this car. The VW Beetle is so dense that you usually open the small front triangular window before you can close the driver's door. That is only then problem-free. Warmed up or cool fresh air can only get in if the used air can get out. Forced ventilation is therefore necessary, which the Beetle receives quite late, by the way.

The latter is sometimes done elegantly these days. Or completely hidden on the side under the rear bumper. Often even with a dynamic pressure flap to prevent the ingress of unfiltered air. This points to the filter for the intake air, often referred to simply as the 'pollen filter' in misjudgment of other tasks. From now on, at the latest, the heating/ventilation system will receive entries in the maintenance plan.

The first air conditioners are offered by the manufacturer as an extra from 1939 in the USA.In some vehicles, so-called evaporative coolers are attached to the top of the side windows. This photo shows a Packard from that time, whose manufacturer is considered the first to offer real air conditioning systems. So the Americans are the first to find a solution for both the home and the car for areas that are subject to greater climatic stress.

Together with the ease of use, which is highly valued in the USA, it is not surprising that the air conditioning system, which was soon offered as standard after the Second World War, was equipped with simplifications very early on. In Germany, something like mass motorization began very tentatively in the mid-30s. Whether only for testing cooling systems or also the interior ventilation, here below the first (climate) wind tunnel in Germany of 1937.

From 1931 even DKW manufactured refrigerators.

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