The three Goldberg brothers, Norman, Hiram, and Max,
invented and developed the first automobile air conditioner.
On July 17, 1946, the temperature in Detroit was 97 degrees.
The three brothers walked into old man Henry Ford's office
and sweet-talked his secretary into telling him that three
gentlemen were there with the most exciting innovation in
the auto industry since the electric starter.
Henry was curious and invited them into his office. They
refused and instead asked that he come out to the parking
lot to their car.
They persuaded him to get into the car, in which it was
about 130 degrees. They then turned on the air conditioner
and cooled the car off immediately. The old man got very
excited and invited them back to his office, where he
offered them $3 million for the patent.
The brothers refused, saying they would settle for $2
million, but they wanted the recognition by having a label,
"The Goldberg Air-Conditioner," on the dashboard of each car
that it was installed in.
Now, old man Ford was more than just a little anti-Semitic,
and there was no way he was going to put the Goldbergs' name
on two million Fords.
They haggled back and forth for about two hours and finally
agreed on $4 million, and that just their first names would
And so to this day, all Ford air conditioners show Norm, Hi,
and Max on the dashboard.