The Moore American

July 10, 2013

Here’s a big thank-you for inventions that make life easy

By Wanda Billbe
The Moore American

MOORE — As temperatures soar in the upper 90s this week, it makes us thankful for many modern inventions. When I entered my car the temperature on the dash boasted “97.” A quick flip of a switch and the air conditioner powered on high and quickly cooled off the inside of the car.

So I wondered… who was the wonderful person who invented air conditioning for cars? Turns out that it was actually four people — the Goldberg brothers. In 1946, they approached Henry Ford (of the Ford car company) and asked him to come outside to their car. The temperature outside was 97 degrees and Henry Ford suggested that they come to his office instead.

With a little persuasion, Henry Ford entered their vehicle, where the temperature inside was recorded to be about 130 degrees. They turned on their invention — the automobile air conditioning system — and the car cooled off immediately. Henry Ford became so excited he had the four Goldberg brothers come back to his office and offered them $3 million for the patent.

That was 67 years ago and, today Goldberg brothers, as the heat continues to climb, we thank you for giving us the luxury of automobile air conditioning.

Stepping into the sweltering heat of the garage to do laundry reminded me of those days in our basement when I was growing up, where our mother washed clothes with a wringer washer and hung them on the clothesline outside to dry. Today we simply toss the clothes into the washer and switch them to the dryer, all with only minutes of time spent in the hot garage.

Thank you, Bendix Corporation for introducing the automatic washing machine in 1937. And thank you, J. Ross Moore, who invented the gas and electric clothes dryer. It took him 30 years to bring it to completion and he had great financial troubles before selling his idea in 1938.

Believe it or not, push lawn mowers are still available for purchase, but most of us have power mowers, for which we are thankful. How about electric dishwashers, microwaves, automatic icemakers and water dispensers in the door of your refrigerator? Or automatic starters for cars instead of the crank-starters — horrible contraptions on 97+ temperature days or 20 below zero, or in the pouring rain.

Not to be forgotten are the electric mixers, electric coffeemakers, countertop indoor grills and toasters that even toast bagels. For women, curling irons that heat up in 90 seconds (versus the old fashioned iron rods that women stuck above the coals in the fireplace to heat) and men’s electric razors.

For all of the modern inventions, dear Lord, we are thankful. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll use some of us to invent even greater methods of convenience for future generations to come. And today, as we sit inside our air-conditioned houses where the temperature is set at 72 degrees while outside temperatures rise to nearly 100 degrees, we smile and give an extra special “thanks.”