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Profile America — Tuesday, July 22nd. On these scorching hot summer days, with the nation's average warmest day of the year coming up shortly, most of us welcome ducking in from the heat into a cool office, business, or home. For this relief, we can thank Willis Carrier, who in the depths of winter in 1906 received a patent for what he called an "apparatus for treating air." His idea has fundamentally changed the way most Americans live, and the Carrier name is still prominent among air-conditioning manufacturers. The invention did not come into widespread use until after World War II. Even by 1960, only 12 percent of homes in the U.S. were equipped, and just 1.5 million window air conditioners were manufactured that year. Today, 91 percent of all new, single-family housing in the U.S. is air-conditioned. Profile America is in its17th year as a Public Service of the U.S. Census Bureau.