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The Father of Cool

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board and J.E. McReynolds Modified: June 14, 2013 at 2:41 pm •  Published: August 16, 2012

Much was made of the record-tying high temperature on Aug. 3, when the thermometer hit 113. That tied a record set on Aug. 11, 1936.

As we all sweltered this month, Oklahomans old enough to remember the original 113-degree day could offer some perspective. In 1936, air conditioning was a rarity. Indeed, in some parts of the country then, electricity itself was still in the future.

Conditioning the air has its roots in ancient Rome, but the forerunner of what we have now dates to early in the 20th century and Willis Haviland Carrier’s electric air conditioning system.

Oklahoma should set aside a day each year to honor The Father of Cool. Since his birthday is Nov. 26, when nature cools us without electricity, perhaps Aug. 3 — or Aug. 11 — is appropriate.


by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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by J.E. McReynolds
Opinion Editor
J.E. McReynolds is Opinion editor at The Oklahoman and has worked for the newspaper’s Opinion section since 1995. He joined The Oklahoman as business editor in 1985 and was previously managing editor of The Journal Record. A native Oklahoman,...
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