While the concept of cooling air has been around for a while (the ancient Egyptians hung water-soaked reeds in the windows), the first air conditioner was born in New York. In 1902 Willis Haviland Carrier created the machine in Buffalo, while looking for a way "to solve an application problem for the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Company in Brooklyn," who needed to control the humidity in the plant.
This July 17th marks the 110th anniversary of the invention of modern air conditioning, when Carrier finalized his plans. In celebration, the company launched a new website to document the history of modern air conditioning.
This was the first air conditioned building, which still stands in Brooklyn today
A couple of years ago, BushwickBK looked back at the plant's building, which is still standing at 1013 Grand Street (at Morgan Avenue).
They ventured inside, and noted, "The basement machinery has sadly disappeared... but the brick ducts which distributed air up to the factory floors can still be seen." Another building that bought Carrier's system later in 1902 was the New York Stock Exchange, "which became the first building to be air-conditioned strictly for comfort."
And if you're anti-a/c, here are some tips to keep cool without one.