1854: The first large-scale mechanical ventilation system in the world
A few years after the ventilation fiasco in the new, permanent parliamentary buildings, Reid moved to the USA. However, before doing so, he managed to develop and complete a, for that time, technologically highly-advanced fan-driven ventilation system that would be in operation for nearly 130 years and one which is regarded by many as the first of its kind.
Under S:t George’s Hall, a monumental structure in Liverpool built for festivals, meetings and concerts, four steam engine-driven speed-controlled fans, each 3 metres in diameter, were installed. These could supply a variable air flow for up to 5,000 visitors, equivalent to around 5 l/s per person, which is approximately the same as the present-day recommended flow. After filtering, heating and cooling, and even moisturising if desired, the air was distributed along the walls through thousands of small holes close to the floor. The indoor climate was continually monitored and meticulously controlled, requiring an army of employees.