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The American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers (ASH&VE) established a research laboratory at the Bureau of Mines`Pittsburgh experiment station in 1919 and thus became the only major engineering society in the United States to maintain its own research facility. The laboratory provided a fund of basic engineering data to help establish the profession on a more scientific basis. One of the earliest research projects begun at the laboratory was a quantitative definition of human comfort that was especially useful to the infant air-conditioning industry. However, the laboratory`s work also aided engineers in the political arena who attempted to guide the effort by state and municipal government to legislate ventilation standards.

KEYWORDS: history, USA, thermal comfort, research, air conditioning, ventilation, heating.