YORK And The York AC Compressor: A History That Begins With Ice

by | Jul 28, 2016 | Tools and Equipment

In 2005, Johnson Controls acquired York. At the time, the company was the biggest independent manufacturer of air conditioning, heating and refrigeration equipment on the globe. The York AC compressor was a well-respected and highly reliable component of a quality system that was popular in offices, residences and industrial complexes around the world. Yet, York had started life, like many of its earliest competitors in the business, as a small company manufacturing other items.

The York Manufacturing Company (YMC)

The York Manufacturing Company came into existence in 1874 in York, Pennsylvania. Six men were initially involved. They were Stephen Morgan Smith, Jacob Loucks, Henry H. LaMotte, Oliver J. Bollinger, George Buck and Robert Shetter. This became a partnership in 1885, a time when the company was beginning to manufacture ice machines for a customer who lived in Mississippi.

Although the market was slim in certain states, YMC persevered but it also continued to produce farm machinery, steam engines, turbines and washing machines until 1897, when it decided to focus on ice making and refrigeration machinery. This was to continue until several years later when, in 1903, it undertook a project for Carnegie Steel Co. Here, they were to install a system intended to dehumidify the air from a blast furnace. It was to mark a change in YMC’s product line.

YMC Air Conditioning

After the project for Carnegie, YMC began to take on other jobs that involved the installation of an air conditioning system. Among them were:

* The Empire Theatre in Montgomery, Alabama – 1914

* San Joaquin Light and Power Co. office building in Fresno, California – 1923

* St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio – late 1920s

During the subsequent years, YMC accomplished a variety of milestones and installations. They grew, incorporating in 1927.The company also built an apartment/room air conditioner weighing some 600 pounds and installed their Yorkaire line with its light-weight York AC compressors in various commercial establishments.

After a slump during the 1930s, their product line soared as countries such as France bought their air conditioning units before 1940 and World War II. The war provided new markets as military sites, ships and nuclear reactors installed refrigeration and air-conditioning machinery. In 1942, the newly named York Corp flourished a trend that continued into the 1950s and 1960s, even after being purchased by and made a subsidiary of Borg-Warner in 1956. By 1981 York was the second-largest maker of air-conditioning and related equipment in America resulting from recently taking over the air-conditioning division of Westinghouse Electric Corporation.

In 1986, the company was independent again as York International. The company went private in 1988 than a public company once again in 1991. It was to remain this way until it was one again taken over. This time, the company was Johnson Controls.

York and the York AC Compressor

York has played a prominent role in America’s developing taste for air conditioning systems. Their products are found installed in factories, schools, hospitals, office structures and shopping malls around the globe including the British Houses of Parliament, the Sydney Opera House and the English Channel Tunnel. Making sure they continue to function properly throughout their life span is the reliable and durable York AC compressor.

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