The next time the temperature drops to unbearably low levels, and you decide to turn the heat up on your thermostat, you can thank a Black woman named Alice H. Parker for her ingenious plan to change how we heat our homes today.
Before central heating, people relied on coal-burning stoves and open fireplaces to warm cold homes. Parker wanted to create a way for heat to disperse throughout a home while improving the efficiency and safety of how homes were heated.
Her unique idea to use natural gas provided a more abundant and cleaner resource. The revolutionary invention helped reduce the use of coal and decreased the risks associated with older methods of generating heat in a residential space. Natural gas was a resource that was seldom used as a method to provide warmth in homes.
Parker was one of the few Black women inventors of her time. In 1919, she received a patent for her central heating system. People no longer had to gather around stoves or fireplaces to get warm.
Winter is almost here, which means the cold weather is quickly approaching. Parker’s invention and its impact on how people stay warm in their homes during the colder months were recognized, studied, and refined by engineers and manufacturers, which led to the central heating systems our homes use today.
Source: Black Enterprise