Sunday, February 17, 2019

Day 17 - Alice H. Parker - Heating It Up!

1895 - ??

Who was she?

That is a good question. Aside from some small bits of info I could glean from multiple sites, this seems to be the extent of what is certain about her.

Alice grew up in Morristown, NJ.
She graduated from Howard University Academy, which was a high school attached to the university.

That is the extent of what everyone agrees about her biography. We don't even have any idea when she died. Who knows? Maybe she's still here...

There are pictures of her online that I know for certain are not her. Sigh.

What did she invent?

Alice Parker got tired of winters in her freezing New Jersey house. Her fireplace was not the answer, as it did not heat the entire house sufficiently, and the smell of smoke had to be endured.

Now, some people would have moved to a warmer place. That worked for the mister and me.

Apparently, easy fixes like that either don't occur to inventors, or they look at some perfectly normal challenge and decide to fix it with a complicated device.

The device Alice invented was not only complicated; it changed how we heat buildings in this country and across the world.

In 1919, she received the patent for her invention. This device is still with us.

Alice invented the very first furnace that used natural gas.

It forced heated air through the building, heating the entire house. You could also adjust the temperature in each room.

She invented zone heating!

Her Legacy?

If you have been in any of the blizzards across the country in the last few years and you had comfy central heat - say a quick thank you to Alice Parker.

Every single central heating system in use today is based on her design!

Thank you, Alice, for keeping us warm!

Celebrate Black History!

Day 1 - The ABC's of Black History Month
Day 6 - Ernest Everett Just - Biologist, Zoologist, Cell man
Day 7 - Frederick McKinley Jones - The Coolest Man in Modern History

No comments:

Post a Comment