INDUSTRY: Real Cool Prospects

Comfortably cool in his air-conditioned office, President James M. Skinner Jr., of Philadelphia's Philco Corp., leafed through his weather reports last week and broke out a sunny smile. "It hit 90° in Indianapolis, 91° in Chicago, 92° in Cleveland, 93° in Knoxville, and even higher in the Deep South," he exulted. "If only this nice hot, humid weather continues, we'll really sell air conditioners this year."

Sales of room air conditioners generally follow the thermometer. The past two summers were cool, and the industry's sales were slow, sliding along at roughly the...

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