Hot stuff: Meet the black woman who invented central heating

Hot stuff: Meet the black woman who invented central heating

- Alice Parker came up with a concept that revolutionised central heating in 1919

- The young inventor was inspired by the cold New Jersey winters that she experienced in Morristown

- The invention meant that fewer families would have to go out and chop wood and there would be fewer dangerous fires spreading in homes

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Alice Parker was born in the US, in New Jersey, and was a young black female student with a bright intelligence and imagination.

The world has Alice to thank for her indispensible contribution to the creation of central heating, which many countries around the world cannot live without.

Growing up in chilly New Jersey, with its biting winters, Alice was intent on finding a more effective way to heat peoples’ homes.

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According to, many families had to brave the cold in order to fetch wood all through the winter as well as deal with all the potentially dangerous complications that wood-fire heating came with.

Alice created a furnace that was completely different to anything that was being used during the 1910’s, one which used ducts and gas in order to spread heat evenly and further throughout the homes.

She graduated high school in 1910 and lived during a time before the Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Liberation Movement, which meant her opportunities were limited.

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However, found out that Alice had a spark within her that didn’t stop her from filing a patent for her heating system, an incredible achievement for a black woman during this time.

Find out more about Alice Parker in this video below:

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