Willis Haviland Carrier (November 26, 1876 - October 9, 1950) was an engineer and inventor, and is known as the man who invented air conditioning. He was born on a farm near Angola, New York, and inherited his mother's love for "tinkering", with clocks, sewing machines, and other household devices. He loved mathematics, and studied it at every chance, when he wasn't inventing his own devices.
Carrier graduated from Cornell University in 1901 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Following college, he went to work for the Buffalo Forge Company, a company which manufactured heaters, blowers and air exhaust systems, in their heating engineering department.
At the age of 25, he devised his first important invention, a device for keeping a printing plant in Brooklyn, New York cool and the humidity low, in order to keep its paper at a constant temperature and dryness. He went on to work on other cooling and humidity-control inventions, and was eventually made the head of the Buffalo Forge subsidiary named Carrier Air Conditioning Company. in his honor.
When World War I arrived, Buffalo Forge was forced to cut back on speculative processes, and eliminated their air conditioning division. Carrier, with six colleagues, staked $32,600 on their own company, Carrier Engineering Corporation. Some of the company's first customers included Madison Square Gardens and the chambers of the United States Senate and House of Representatives. He installed the first home air conditioning in a house in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Carrier moved his company to Syracuse, New York in the 1930s, and the company became one of the largest employers in central New York. In 1930, he started Toyo Carrier in Japan. Japan is now the largest market for air conditioning in the world.
Carrier and all three of his wives are buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery.