Heated Negotiations

November 24th, 2013

email and baconThe four Katz brothers, Lowell, Norman, Hiram, and Max, invented the first automobile air-conditioner. On August 15, 1951, the temperature in Detroit was 92 degrees.The four brothers walked into Henry Ford’s office and convinced him to come out to the parking lot to their car. They got him to get into the car, which was about 120 degrees, turned on the air conditioner, and cooled the car off within a few minutes. Henry got very excited and invited them back to the office, where he offered them $2 million for the patent. The brothers refused, saying they would settle for $1 million, but they wanted the recognition by having a label, ‘The Katz Air-Conditioner,’ on the dashboard of each Ford car in which it was installed. There was no way that Ford was going to put the Katz’s name on two million Fords. They haggled back and forth for about two hours and finally agreed on $3 million and that just their first names would be shown. And so to this day, all Ford air conditioners show — Low, Norm, Hi, and Max — on the controls.

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