World News

Industry news and insights from Europe and around the World

UK News

Latest news and developments in the United Kingdom

Products

Keep up-to-date with the latest new products and technology

Features

General articles, applications and industry analysis

Carrier and Otis share family connection

Willis Carrier (left) "the father of air conditioning" was related to lift pioneer Elisha Otis
Willis Carrier (left) “the father of air conditioning” was related to lift pioneer Elisha Otis

USA: The famous Carrier air conditioning and Otis lifts brands share a family connection that goes deeper than just being part of the same UTC Building & Industrial Systems division.

It seems that Willis Carrier, credited as being the founder of air conditioning, was related to Elisha Otis, founder of Otis Elevators and the pioneer who invented the safety device that prevents elevators from falling if the hoisting cable fails.

Experts at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston have confirmed that Willis Carrier’s great-grandmother, Lydia Otis, was cousins with Elisha Otis, making Carrier and Otis fourth cousins.

The company’s they founded have been part of United Technologies Corp for many years and now both make up part of UTC’s Building & Industrial Systems division.

Willis Carrier was born in Angola, New York, near Buffalo in 1876. Less than a decade after inventing modern air conditioning in 1902 to solve a production problem at a Brooklyn print shop, he solidified his role in history as the “father of air conditioning” with the Rationale Psychometric Formulae. It is the most famous and enduring document ever prepared on the topic and Carrier’s equations still form the basis of air conditioning design calculations. Today, 112 years later, Carrier is the world’s leader in high-technology heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions.

Elisha Otis was born in Halifax, Vermont in 1811 and later moved to Yonkers, New York. Two years after inventing the “safety elevator,” Otis famously promoted it at the 1854 World’s Fair in New York City. With the help of circus legend PT Barnum, Otis stood atop an elevator platform as the rope was cut to demonstrate the springs that snapped into place and kept the elevator from falling. Today, Otis Elevator Company is the world’s largest manufacturer and maintainer of people-moving products, including elevators, escalators and moving walkways.

“The creative thought running through the Otis and Carrier families enabled buildings to rise higher and become more comfortable, increasing productivity, making urban life possible and creating the skylines of today,” said Geraud Darnis, president, UTC Building & Industrial Systems. “People often joke that ‘it must be in the water,’ but in this case, that inventive spirit was in their blood.”

“I think both Elisha and Willis would be pleased to see their pioneering spirit alive and well today,” said John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer, UTC Building & Industrial Systems. “Their legacies of innovation have inspired our engineers to create advancements in energy efficiency to support the world’s move to greener buildings. It’s not surprising that they were family long before their brands became part of the same company.

Latest News

29th February 2024

Beijer Ref to acquire Australian firm QAE

SWEDEN/AUSTRALIA: Beijer Ref will expand its position in the Australian market with the agreement to acquire 60% of the shares in Sydney-based Quality Air Equipment (QAE).
29th February 2024

Chemours places CEO on administrative leave

USA: Chemours has placed its president and CEO Mark Newman, CFO Jonathan Lock and principal accounting officer Camela Wisel on administrative leave pending the completion of an internal review.
28th February 2024

Seeley to boost production in US export push

AUSTRALIA: Evaporative cooling equipment manufacturer Seeley International is to upgrade and expand its manufacturing plant in Lonsdale, South Australia, to boost exports to the USA.
28th February 2024

EPEE calls for RACHP recognition

BELGIUM: The European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) has called for recognition of the critical role of RACHP technologies in energy efficiency and climate mitigation. 
28th February 2024

PSH compressor a “game-changer” for heat pumps

USA: The new Danfoss PSH scroll compressor with vapour injection allows for a wider range of operating temperatures and could be a potential “game-changer” for heat pump adoption.
28th February 2024

UK should heed Euro heat pump decline

UK: The Heat Pump Association (HPA) has called on the UK Government to take heed of the decline in European heat pump sales and institute clear, consistent and decisive action.