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First - air conditioning - testament to the American ability to conquer the harshest physical environments and to expand American life towards improbable horizons.
For more than a century now, America has been making machines that blow cold air into hot places - without it Florida, Arizona and southern Texas would be uninhabitable.
Florida's population has gone up 10-fold since air conditioning became affordable. It caught on as a way of cooling cinemas when hot projection equipment made them unbearable in July and August.
Without aircon, going to the pictures would be as seasonal a pastime as ice-fishing.
Ice cubes, too, reflect the same happy knack for making light of the hostility of circumstance. sorce