In honor of the recent National Inventors’ Day, we’d like to highlight the achievements of a pioneer in the heating and cooling industry – Alice H. Parker. Ms. Parker was a pioneer who broke down barriers as an African-American woman working on innovation in heating systems in 1919, ultimately creating an early concept of today’s heating system. Her system actually gave birth to the thermostat and the familiar forced air furnaces used in most American homes today.
What is the backstory of National Inventors’ Day? In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed February 11th National Inventors’ Day with the goal of recognizing the contributions inventors make to society in the US as well as the entire world. February 11th, not coincidentally, falls on the birthday of Thomas Edison.
Learn More About Alice H. Parker – Parker’s design was granted a patent in 1919. The patent was for her furnace design using gas and the innovative idea of using ducts to deliver heat to other parts of the home. Alice Parker was a graduate of Howard University in 1910, one of the few places where both women and African Americans could pursue a university education.
The system designed by Parker was way ahead of its time and truly revolutionized the way we heat our homes. With this progression, wood was no longer needed, reducing fire and air quality risks and making a heated home more accessible. Parker’s designs laid the framework for today’s central heating and cooling systems.
Since 1974, Stiles Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing has built a reputation as an innovator and leader in the Athens area for the best in heating and cooling services. Our team is dedicated to providing you the quality services and products for all your HVAC needs.
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