Can air conditioning cozy up to American consumers? (Fortune Classics, 1938)

Editors note: Every Sunday,Fortunepublishesa favorite story from our archive. As the official start of summer grows near, many of us have already turned to our air conditioners for support, whether that means lugging window units out from the closets and attics they have been hiding in all winter or flipping the switch on our central air conditioning systems. While 61% of American households had central air as of 2009 according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (not including the many households with window units), the consumer market for air conditioning was not always considered a sure thing. The following story (original headline: Weathermakers: Carrier Corp.) from Fortunes Ap