Women's History In The Heating and Cooling Profession

Who Are The Women Who Impacted Heating and Cooling?

Women’s history month would not be complete without discussing the women pioneers of the heating and air conditioning industry. These women have patented inventions that are still used today to help regulate a home's temperature. By learning through hands-on experience and mentorship, these women changed how challenges are perceived. 

Today’s Women

Over the past few decades, more women have entered the heating and air conditioning industry. This is partly due to the women who have come before them. Previous women in the industry worked hard to become recognized as professionals and masters in their fields. They were able to provide an attainable vision for women in the field today. 

Women now work in various roles, including technical assistance, engineering, and business ownership. Depending on the type of job, education requirements greatly vary. A woman engineer is not the only type of professional that can make a difference. The required education necessary for the HVAC industry can open doors for women from different economic levels. To have a secure job in a profession that uses hard-earned skills is attractive to both men and women. 

Alice H. Parker

aliceAlice Parker was born in Morrison, NJ, in 1885. As a child, the winters were cold and often left her feet and hands feeling numb in the morning. Today she is known as a revolutionary female inventor in the heating and cooling business. Her invention of a specific type of gas furnace has impacted both men and women for decades.  

Alice Parker’s gas furnace was powered by natural gas. It contained individually controlled ducts that could distribute heat throughout a home. Using her education from mechanical engineering school, she provided a system that regulated temperature in different areas of a building. 

In 2019 the National Society of Black Physicists honored her invention as a “revolutionary idea” for the 1920s. She was able to channel her creativity and hard work in a way that could influence many people to come.

Margaret Ingels


Margaret Ingels was the first female engineer to have graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. She was the first woman to receive a mechanical engineering degree in the country. She chose to focus her work on air conditioning to develop a temperature regulation method that worked.

After researching at the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers’ lab, she became interested in germ-laden dust. This was a particular concern of hers regarding classrooms and other public spaces where the air was available to everyone. She eventually helped create the sling psychrometer to show how much humidity is in the air.

Margaret Ingels continues to help promote women's agency even after her death in 1971. The Student Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers at the University of Kentucky now provides a fund in her honor. This Fellowship Fund is designed to help students enrolled in a Master of Science degree. 

About PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning

Paul’s Home Care Club is a membership offered by PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning that allows members to receive a 15% discount on all repairs, priority service, and scheduled maintenance inspections. Call PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning today for service in Staten Island, NY.

A Brief and Fun History of White House Plumbing

Exciting Facts About Plumbing in America’s House

It’s fun to celebrate Presidents Day by learning about the history of plumbing in the White House. Many people find it surprising that, for long stretches of its history, the White House was not the modern and luxurious building it is today. Presidents and their families today enjoy all the comforts and modern additions that they could ask for, within reason. 

But many presidents over the years had to deal with sub-par conditions in the building. Running water was installed late, and it took a while for the house to receive a flushing toilet. But that’s not all. Read on to discover the history behind these and other White House plumbing facts.  

Running Water in the White House

The first running water on the White House grounds wasn’t actually for bathing, drinking, washing hands, or flushing toilets. Back during John Quincy Adams’ presidency (1825 - 1829), the White House got its first glimpse of plumbing. But it was for watering the garden, not for anything else. 

Adams had a bit of a green thumb, and so he needed water for his garden on the grounds. There was an iron pump with pulled water from the nearby well at the Treasury building so the president could water his plants. It wasn’t until about 1833 that the White House itself received running water for drinking water and fire protection.  

The Very First White House Flush


While Jackson is credited with the first to bring running water to the White House itself, and Adams the first to bring running water to the White House grounds, it was nearly 20 years after the White House got water that it had a flushing toilet. In 1853, according to historians, President Millard Fillmore oversaw the installation of the first flushing toilet. But it wasn’t until his predecessor took office, Franklin Pierce, that a modern bathroom was up and running. 

More Interesting Facts


Some other interesting facts concern the history of bathtubs in the White House. James Madison (1809 - 1817) is credited with having the first bathtub in the White House, installed in 1814. The water for it had to be heated on a stove before it could be hauled to the bathtub in buckets. Reportedly, the tub didn’t see a lot of use because the British set fire to the White House not long after its installation. 

The Potomac River served as the bathing place for some presidents. Reportedly, John Quincy Adams would take a dip in the river at some point during the day. However, this was less than convenient. Apparently, someone made off with the president’s clothes one day, and he had to holler for a boy to bring more from the White House. 

Harry Truman is credited with upgrading the White House during his administration in the middle of the 20th century. It was a big job, and it wasn’t until then that proper, modern plumbing and amenities were installed throughout the whole house. The plumbing system was almost entirely replaced then, as it was found to be severely lacking.  

About PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning

PAC Plumbing has been helping Staten Island, NY, residents with their plumbing problems since 1979. They provide personal attention and focus on prevention. They also offer up-front pricing and excellent communication, so their customers are never surprised. Contact them today to schedule expert plumbing services in Staten Island.