FW: Automotive History Revealed

Bernie Benz b.m.benz at prodigy.net
Mon Feb 25 23:10:21 EST 2002

Who Invented AC?
> It was a sweltering August day when the Cohen brothers entered the posh
> Dearborn, Michigan offices of Henry Ford, the car maker. "Mr. Ford,"
> announced Norman Cohen, the eldest of the three, "we have a remarkable
> invention that will revolutionize the automobile industry." Ford was
> skeptical, but their threat to offer it to the competition kept him
> listening.
> "We would like to demonstrate our invention to you." After a little cajoling,
> they took Mr. Ford outside and asked him to enter a black automobile parked
> in front of the building. Hyman Cohen, the middle brother, opened the door of
> the car, saying "Please step inside, Mr. Ford."
> "Are you crazy?" asked the tycoon. "It must be two hundred degrees in that
> car!"
> "It is," smiled the youngest brother, Max, "but sit down Mr. Ford, and push
> the white button."
> Intrigued, Ford got in and pushed the button. All of a sudden, whooshes of
> cold air started blowing from vents all around the car, and within seconds
> the automobile was not only comfortable, it was quite cool.
> "This is amazing!" exclaimed Ford. "How much do you want for the patent?"
> Norman spoke up, "The price is one million dollars." He paused. But there is
> something else. The name 'Cohen Brothers Air Conditioning' must be stamped
> right next to the Ford logo."
> "Money is no problem," retorted Ford, "but I will not allow anyone else's
> name next to the logo on my cars!'
> They haggled back and forth for a while and finally settled on a price of
> five million dollars, with "Cohen Brothers Air Conditioning" left off. In the
> end, however, the brothers figured out a way to have their first names used
> without anyone else's knowledge. And to this day, in every Ford vehicle, you
> will see the Cohen brothers' first names clearly printed on the air
> conditioning control panel: Norm, Hi and Max.

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