Weblog of Miss-Lou Motor Mafia

August 11, 2008

Automobile Air Conditioning – Fact or Crap!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — blasterhappy @ 6:00 am

The Goldberg brothers – Norman, Hiram and Maxwell – invented and developed the first automobile air conditioner.    On 17 July 1946, the temperature in Detroit was 97 degrees.  The brothers walked into old man Henry Ford’s office and sweet-talked his secretary into telling him they were there with the most exciting innovation in the auto industry since the electric starter.  Henry was curious and invited them into his office.  They refused and, instead, asked him to come to their car in the parking lot.  They then persuaded him to get into the car, which was about 130 degrees, turned on the air condition and cooled the car off immediately.

The old man got very excited and invited them back to the office, where he offered them $3 million for the patent.  They refused saying they would settle for $2 million but wanted the recognition of having a label which read, “The Goldberg Air Condition” on the dashboard of each car in which it was installed.

Old Ford was more than just a bit anti-Semitic, and there was no way he was going to put their name on a couple million Ford autos.  They haggled back and forth for two hours and finally agreed on $4 million and that just their first names would be shown.  So, even today, all Ford auto air conditioners show on the controls the names, “Norm, Hi, and Max.”

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