David Crosthwait, Jr | Lesser-Known Individual In Black History

david crosthwait, jr

For the entire month of February, I’m covering lesser-known individuals in Black History since it’s Black History Month. This article explores David Crosthwait, Jr. and his work.

David Crosthwait, Jr.: His Vitals

Per his Wikipedia page David Crosthwait, Jr. was:

  • Born: May 27, 1898 in Nashville, TN
  • Died: February 25, 1976 in West Lafayette, IN

What Did David Crosthwait, Jr. Do?

David Crosthwait, Jr. was an engineer by trade spurred on by his parents and teachers. Eventually, David received a scholarship from Purdue University and attained both his Bachelor of Science and Masters in Engineering.

Afterwards, David moved to Iowa to work for Dunham-Bush (originally named C.A. Dunham Company), working on heating and cooling systems.

Over the years, David focused on air ventilation, central air conditioning, and heat transfer systems. In turn, he created and developed various devices: Heating systems, vacuum pumps and refrigeration methods to name a few. Because of this, David received 39 U.S. patents and 80 international patents.

What Was His Mark On Black History?

Due to his reputation in the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) industry, David was commissioned to design and build a heating and cooling system at the Rockefeller Center. From there, a commission came in from Radio City Music Hall for a heating system.

From here, David created various heating and cooling systems for customers around the world.

Finally, he wrote an instruction manual about heating and cooling explaining the various standards and codes.

His Final Years

David retired from working in 1969, transitioning into teaching classes at Purdue University. While teaching, he wrote books on various HVAC topics and became a member of the American Society of Heating and Ventilation Engineers Guide. Finally, in 1975, he received an honorary doctorate from Purdue.


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