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issue: November 2003 APPLIANCE Magazine

ARI 50th Anniversary
ARI's 50 Years of Progress

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by Dana Chase, Jr., editorial director

The Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) was formed as a result of the merger of the Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturers Association (REMA) and the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Machinery Association (ACRMA). This merger was approved by the directors of both associations at a meeting held in Hot Springs, VA, U.S. on March 29, 1953. The merger was then officially approved by the members of both associations by mail ballot.

George S. Jones, Jr., former vice-president of Sales for Servel, Inc., was selected to head the organization as managing director. The new organization was to be known as the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI). After the merger, the combined membership of ARI consisted of 150 companies, including practically all of the major companies in the air-conditioning and refrigeration business.

The 8th All Industry Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Exposition was then held at the Cleveland Public Auditorium on Nov. 9-12, 1953. This exposition was the first to be sponsored by the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI).

The exhibition consisted of 62,500 sq ft of exhibit space. It was attended by 15,000 visitors. Fifty years later, at the 2003 AHR Expo in Chicago, IL, U.S., there were 1,860 exhibiting companies showing thousands of new and up-graded products using more than 400,000 sq ft of exhibit space, with an attendance of more than 58,000.

We are pleased to say that our publication, APPLIANCE magazine, has been able to serve ARI and its many members since ARI's inception. Our publication covered the merger meeting in March of 1953 and the first all industry expo sponsored by ARI held in November1953. Our staff has attended the ARI Annual Meetings and the expositions ever since.

HVAC/R executives attending the kick-off breakfast at the ARI-sponsored Exposition in Cleveland in November 1953.

In a statement published in Koldfax, ARI's monthly publication, in July 1953, George S. Jones, Jr., ARI managing director, stated "Since May 1, 10 new members have been added to our rolls, and all in all, we are off to a good start. Morale here at headquarters is high, and we are all looking forward to being of increased service to our members. With your help, I am sure ARI will be an important department of your company."

The March 2003 issue of Koldfax included the following statement, "In the 5 decades since the above was written, ARI has been fortunate in the selection of its leadership, chairmen, presidents, officers, directors and staff. ARI's future is as bright, if not brighter, than the future seen by ARI's founders."

A few highlights of ARI's 50 years of service to the industry include:

1953 - Two associations, REMA and ACRMA, unite to become the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute on April 23. REMAKoldfax became ARIKoldfax, with the first issue published in July 1953.

1958 - First Standard for heat pumps is published. ARI announces new certification program for unitary air-conditioners. ARI seal for unitary air-conditioning equipment is introduced.

1962 - Certification program begins for unitary heat pumps.

1964 - First sound standard is approved.

1972 - ARI and ASHRAE combine forces for the first Combined Industry Expo in New Orleans, LA, U.S.

1979 - First ARI textbook is published: "Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning."

1986 - Air-Conditioning joins the list of inventions immortalized in the National Inventors Hall of Fame. ARI endorses federal minimum efficiency standards for residential-type central air-conditioning and heat pump systems.

Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturers Association (REMA) officers in attendance at the Virginia meeting in March 1953 when ARI was formed.

1988 - U.S. Senate approves Montreal Protocol for Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

1992 - First meeting of the International Council of Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Manufacturers Association (ICARMA) is held.

1993 - With publication of the Directory of Reclaimed Refrigerant, ARI launches its 19th product certification program.

1995 - ARI launches its "CoolNet" web site, www.ari.org. Refrigerant Reclaimers forms a new product section.

1998 - Research for the 21st Century, a multi-year, million-dollar research program for air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment begins.

2000 - ARI welcomed the Commercial Refrigerator Manufacturers Division (CRMD) as well as the 24th product section for manufacturers of single package vertical units.

2002 - Heat Pump Pool and Spa Heaters becomes ARI's 25th product section.

2003 - ARI sets the standard with 50 years of industry excellence. The industry celebrates the introduction of air-conditioning by Willis Carrier.

Dana Chase Publications and the entire Appliance Magazine staff salute ARI on its 50th Anniversary. We look forward to continuing to serve ARI, its staff, and its membership.


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