The new improvements in domestic heating, too, were originally the conception of gardeners. One of the first persons to suggest steam heating was Sir Hugh Platt, who had the notion of conveying heat  from a steam boiler on a kitchen stove through pipes to growing plants in order to keep them at a temperate heat, no matter what the conditions of the weather outside. In 1745 Platt’s suggestion was improved by Sir William Cook, who published a diagram for heating all the rooms in the house from the kitchen fire. The full importance of these inventions was grasped for the first time by Paxton himself. In a letter to the Illustrated London News (July 5, 1851) he sketched out the design of a Crystal Sanitorium: not merely to give patients the benefit of extra oxygen from the growing plants, but for the sake of sunlight and room wherein to exercise in all weather. To make this possible, he suggested the installation of apparatus to provide filtered and heated air: the first proposal for complete air-conditioning – not as a mere remedy against baneful gases, as in mines or in the British House of Parliament, but as a positive aid to health. (Mumford 1938:414-5)
MUMFORD, Lewis. 1938. The Culture of Cities. San Diego: Harvest/HBJ.