Go Back

HVAC Inventions for Black History Month

Get To Know the 3 Spectacular Black Inventors That Revolutionized Modern Heating and Cooling Systems

A lot of African American inventors go unheard of. Homeowners should take a chance to reflect and research these three groundbreaking HVAC inventors; David Crosthwait, Alice Parker, and Lewis Latimer.

1. David Crosthwait

David Crosthwait was an extraordinary African American inventor that created contributions that changed the way technicians work on modern heating and cooling systems. This black inventor lived a long and exciting life. Before he was an inventor, Crosthwait obtained a master's degree.

This intelligent inventor modified and created temperature regulation devices and vacuum pumps similar to the ones technicians use today in the HVAC industry. He focused on inventing an HVAC system that could accommodate and heat a larger building. He did this with 39 patents in the U.S, which enabled him to create a large-scale boiler system.


2. Alice Parker

Alice Parker is a fascinating and intelligent black woman inventor. She excelled in the sciences and fields of engineering when African Americans and women were discouraged from the sciences. This resourceful woman created a gas furnace with ductwork even with her rough upbringing and the harsh political climate.

The furnace with ductwork was one of a kind and changed the HVAC industry forever. Before she created this invention, there were only furnaces in wealthy homes that used coal and wood,  which were extremely dangerous as both items were immensely flammable.

Using coal and wood was also only something the wealthy could do because of the expense. Instead, her gas furnace used natural gas and oils to heat a home safely. The ductwork steered the flammable ingredients away from home, a significant concern with the original heating design.

3. Lewis Latimer

lewislatimerAnother name on this list of spectacular black inventors is Lewis Latimer. Although he was born into slavery, Latimer was freed by his father young and pursued a life of science and engineering. Latimer was always a bright and curious child.

This curiosity and natural intelligence allowed him to meet remarkably notable people like Thomas Edison. His most considerable HVAC contribution was to indoor air quality when he created the evaporative air conditioner, an excellent invention for areas with high amounts of humidity.

He not only changed the HVAC industry forever but also made other high-quality technological inventions like the telephone and the lightbulb. When he was young, he worked making blueprints for patents. He was the first to draw up the patent designs for Alexander Grahm Bell’s telephone.

After that, Lewis Latimer worked with an electrical company focusing on electricity. He invented and pushed through a lightbulb that manufactured carbon to create light. Before this, there were only oil lamps that relied on burning fuel. He was competing against Thomas Edison at the time.

About Gresham Heating and Air Conditioning

Gresham Heating and Air Conditioning specialize in heating and air conditioning systems and are happy to serve homeowners in their community with competitive prices and honest opinions. Don’t be afraid to give them a call today for HVAC services in the Gresham, OR area!