The Chilling History of Auto Temp Control

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

It’s 2017 and we’re just on the tip of commercially producing self-driving cars. Automatic controls for our automobiles is all about the natural development of the evolution of the car. Cruise control, automatic transmission, automatic windows; we strive for comfort as we travel. Your automatic temperature adjustment in your car has been in development for almost 100 years now.

  • 1919 — The Kool Kooshion seat cover that uses small springs to hold drivers about a half-inch above the car seat, allowing air to circulate underneath them and behind their backs.
  • 1921 — The Knapp Limo-Sedan fan, a small electric fan that can be added to the inside of a car.
  • 1930 — The first example of a somewhat modern A/C feature the “car cooler” is developed. It uses water evaporation to cool air, which is then blown in through the open passenger-side window. A cool looking device no less.
  • 1939 — Packard begins to offer the next level in air conditioning as an option. The system, however, is in the trunk as opposed to the dash. It required you to remove the drive belt from the compressor to turn the system on or off. It roughly cost about $275 at a time when the yearly income was $1400. This option was short lived because we swiftly dove head deep in World War 2.
  • 1953 — The return of air conditioning returns in the form of a rear mounted system like Packard.

1953 Chrysler Imperial with factory trunk mounted “Airtemp” system. Photo Source.

  • 1954 — The first front-mounted A/C systems were put into production by Pontiac and Nash. Nash combined the heater and AC in one in-dash system, bring the standard that most cars have today.
  • 1964 — For the first time, drivers can set a preferred temperature, and the system will automatically adjust the A/C and heat. Cadillac introduces comfort control and the A/C game is forever changed.

The rest is all history, with developments in AC refrigerants, standardization of the modern A/C in the AMC Ambassador and by 69 over half of all American cars have A/C. Your modern A/C units were able to be recharged by 2003 with the launch of IDQ’s single can recharge system. At Original Air, we offer many products and services to help you keep your automobile cool when the sun shines down. Be sure to take advantage of this cool weather and send your parts in for rebuild today.

Originally published at

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.