Saddleworth Chatter: car air conditioning

Saddleworth Chatter by GH

I KNOW a lot of you keen motorists can enjoy the luxury of air conditioning in your car. Would you like to know how this valuable motoring asset came to be? 

Three young American men – Norman, Louis, and Max Goldberg – having examined their mother’s fridge, wondered if the same technology could be employed to cool the occupants of a car during hot and sunny weather.

After months of hard work, they finally installed the fruits of their labours into the family car, where it was an immediate success.

Flushed with excitement they wondered if there could be any financial gain be selling their idea.

By chance they lived only a short distance from Dearborn where the offices of the Ford Motor Company were, so they drove their car there and parked in the Ford car park in the blazing sunshine.

They entered the offices and asked if it were possible to speak to Henry Ford as they wished to show him something rather special.

Henry was duly informed and, intrigued by the boys direct approach, went to meet them.

They asked Henry if he would sit in their car where the inside temperature was now well over 100 degrees.

As Henry was gasping for breath one of the boys started the engine and switched on their air con system. Within two minutes the car was full of cool air and Henry was quite amazed.

He realised here was an idea that could bring his company thousands of dollars and he took offered the boys a great number of dollars for the rights to their invention.

The boys agreed but insisted their name should be shown on the product. Henry said this was not possible as it had to bear the Ford logo.

After a long time, a compromise was reached and the boys left with an even larger dollar reward for their brilliant brainchild, but satisfied their names would live on.

To this day you will find on most air con system controls: Lo, Norm and Max.


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