Profile America: Chill Ride — Air-Conditioning Debuts

Profile America — Monday, November 28.

One of the comforts most Americans take for granted while driving was displayed for the first time this month in 1939 at the 40th Chicago Auto Show. The Packard Motor Car Company unveiled the first U.S. car with air-conditioning. The cooling and heating equipment in the Packard was located behind the rear seat in the trunk. Chilled air reached the passenger compartment through ducts mounted between the seats and the rear window. Air-conditioning did not become a widely available, affordable option until well after World War II. Starting in 1969, the majority of new cars and trucks made in the U.S. have been equipped with air-conditioning. While Packard is long gone, the remaining domestic manufacturers produce over $111 billion worth of automobiles annually.

You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online here.

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