In 1939, air conditioning was relatively new. Inside the Carrier Corporation pavilion, which was shaped like a giant igloo with "snow" encrusted walls and the "Northern Lights" glowing from its ceiling, Carrier displayed and explained air conditioning systems.
A large revolving globe showed visitors how air conditioning was used all over the world—from the Arctic Circle to the equator. The message was cool.
The success of air conditioning at the New York World’s Fair enticed Memphis to enlist a suggestion from Frank Lloyd Wright to design a single exhibition building to hold their proposed exposition that would be totally air conditioned.
At the Carrier Igloo’s dedication Dr. Willis H. Carrier predicted that within the next twenty-five years all individuals would spend their time in air conditioned pleasure.
Twenty-year-old Monroe Solodar won the sneezing contest for hay fever, held in the Carrier Igloo, sneezing forty-three consecutive times. The runner-up was Michael Dorman who sneezed thirty-eight times. Both won a 2,000 mile plane trip from Newark airport.
One fascinating feature of the Igloo was the constant stream of water generated by the air conditioning apparatus extracting humidity from the interior. It was estimated that 125,000 gallons of moisture trickled down the spout from the pavilion’s opening day until mid-August, enough to fill the average indoor swimming pool.
A sign outside the Igloo informed visitors it was ten degrees cooler inside but a test on Saturday evening, June 1, found it to be 67-degrees outside and 74 degrees in the Igloo.
Robert Mayokok, his wife and four children, Eskimos housed in the Amusement Zone, were scheduled to spend the winter in the Carrier Igloo as their home in Cape Prince of Wales Alaska was snow bound. However, Deputy Health Inspector John G. Grimley served notice that the family must vacate their temporary home. They soon found a midtown apartment until the Fair’s second season began.
The New York Post found the Igloo’s demonstration of air conditioning exhibits “relatively uninteresting” but thoroughly enjoyed the cool respite in the humid, August heat.