The smartphone that you carry has far more capabilities than early computers that were the size of a house.

  • The credit goes to a series of developments from transistors to microchips and plastics that replaced glass tubes and other bulky components.

Electronics is the best example of how items became portable, but the portable cooler means much more to me. According to one source, a farmer named Thomas Moore invented the ice box in 1802. It was an oval tub made from cedar wood and lined with rabbit fur. When someone invented styrofoam in 1944, the age of the portable cooler followed. The 1990s saw portable coolers on wheels and by the 2010s we had solar-powered coolers and coolers that were integrated with items like blenders and Bluetooth speakers. HVAC has yet to obtain true portability. The “H” and “V” are no problems because a campfire on the beach with a pleasant breeze serves as both a heater and a cooking appliance for hot-dogs and s’mores. Portable units that cool by evaporation or by blowing air over ice do exist, but these are not truly AC units. A true AC still needs bulky coils and a compressor unit, so they have lagged in becoming truly portable. True portable AC units still need to be vented to the outside and drained of water that has condensed from the cooled air. They are a great solution for a room in your house lacking AC and they are portable to a degree in that they can be put in a vehicle and taken to another location. I anxiously await a portable AC unit that I can take to the beach to join me and my styrofoam cooler full of beer.


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