Turn up the A/C

It was a sweltering August day when the Cohen brothers — Norman, Hyman and Max — entered the posh Dearborn, Mich., offices of Henry Ford.

“Mr. Ford,” announced Norman. “We have a remarkable invention that will revolutionize the automobile industry.”

After a little cajoling, they brought Ford outside. Hyman asked him to step inside a black automobile parked in front of the building.

“What?” shouted the tycoon. “Are you crazy? It must be 200 degrees in that car!”

“It is,” said Max, “but sit down, Mr. Ford, and push the white button.”

Ford pushed the button. All of a sudden a whoosh of freezing air started blowing from vents all around the car, and within seconds the automobile was not only comfortable, it was quite cool.

“This is amazing!” exclaimed Ford. “How much do you want for the patent?”

Norman spoke up, “The price is $1 million.”

Then he paused. “And the name ‘Cohen Brothers Air Conditioning’ must be stamped right next to the Ford logo!”

“Money is no problem,” retorted Ford, “but no way will I have a Jewish name next to my logo on my cars!”

They haggled back and forth for a while and finally they settled on $5 million, but the Cohens’ last name would be left off.

But the brothers found a way to immortalize themselves: Even today, whenever you enter a Ford vehicle, you will see those three names clearly printed on the air conditioning control panel: “Norm,” “Hi” and “Max.”