How automotive A/C came to be..
The four Goldberg brothers, Lowell, Norman, Hiram, and Max, invented and
developed the first automobile air-conditioner. On July 17, 1946, the
temperature in Detroit was 97 degrees.
The four brothers walked into old man 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. Henry
was curious and invited them into his office. They refused and instead asked
that he come out to the parking lot to their car. They persuaded him to get
into the car, which was about 130 degrees, turned on the air conditioner,
and cooled the car off immediately. The old man got very excited and invited
them back to the office, where he offered them $3 million for the patent.
The brothers refused, saying they would settle for $2 million, but they
wanted the recognition by having a label, 'The Goldberg Air-Conditioner,' on
the dashboard of each car in which it was installed. Now old man Ford was
more than just a little anti-Semitic, and there was no way he was going to
put the Goldberg's name on two million Fords.
They haggled back and forth for about two hours and finally agreed on $4
million and that just their first names would be shown. And so to this day,
all Ford air conditioners show -- Lo, Norm, Hi, and
Max -- on the controls.