Summertime classic: Keeping cool

bluebird of bitterness

The temperature in Detroit was 98 degrees and rising on July 8, 1946, when the Goldberg brothers — Lowell, Norman, Hiram, and Maxwell — walked into Henry Ford’s office and sweet-talked his secretary into telling him that four gentlemen were there with the most exciting innovation in the auto industry since the electric starter.

Ford was curious and invited them into his office. They asked him to come out to the parking lot where their car was parked.

They asked him to get into the car, where the temperature was at least 120 degrees. Then they turned on the air conditioner and cooled the car off.

Ford was very excited and invited them back to the office, where he offered them $3,000,000 for the patent.

The brothers replied that they would settle for $2,000,000, but they wanted to have a label that said “The Goldberg Air Conditioner” on the dashboard…

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