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Black History Month Top Inventors: HVAC Edition

HVAC tech looking at HVAC system

Three Black Inventors That Revolutionized Modern Heating and Cooling

Just in time for black history month, this article touches on three spectacular inventors and how they changed the HVAC industry for good! These revolutionaries used various techniques to create inventions that are still used today.

This impressive list is filled with notable African Americans and a courageous black woman inventor! Homeowners have a lot to thank these inventors as they created devices and equipment used in modern HVAC systems.

David Crosthwait

This notorious man was born in 1898. He lived a long life filled with many interesting things. He created contributions tomodern heating and cooling systems throughout his spectacular life, including temperature regulation devices and vacuum pumps.

His most notable contribution to the HVAC industry was the new and improved boiler. Homeowners should rejoice and feel excited about these three leading black inventors. The temperature regulating device that he worked on is still in use today. He also invented a modern vacuum pump for cooling and heating systems.

Alice Parker


Alice Parker is a well-known black inventor that went against all the odds in the early 1920s. This period was not a pleasant one for African Americans or women. Her invention of a gas furnace with ductwork changed the HVAC industry as it was the first of its kind to use natural gas.

Homeowners have Alice Parker to thank since she was the one to invent and patent a central heating system that was safe for use. Before her gas furnace with ductwork, people used furnaces that required coal and wood. Central heating was expensive and dangerous since the fuel was flammable.

These furnaces and heating systems were a luxury that only high earners could afford. Those who could afford it were at risk of a house fire because of the coal and wood that produced the fire and warmth.


Lewis Latimer

The third and final inventor on this list is Lewis Latimer. This man freed himself from slavery and used his brains and love of mechanical engineering to invent amazing inventions! This African American inventor was a crucial factor in developing indoor air quality. He invented the Apparatus for cooling and disinfecting, which improved indoor air quality. It was the first version of an air conditioner.

Not only did he dabble in the HVAC industry, but he also played a large role in patterning the lightbulb and the telephone. He drafted the drawings, which led to the telephone getting a patent for the creation. This was a very important role!

During Latimer’s time working in the U.S. Electric Lighting Company, he invented a new lightbulb that was more efficient than Thomas Edison’s. He was working for the inventor’s rival company at the time.

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