David Crosthwait was born in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1898. He received a B.S. from Purdue University (1913) and a Masters of Engineering in 1920. Mr. Crosthwait was considered an authority on heat transfer, ventilation and air conditioning. He was a Research Engineer, Director of Research Laboratories for C.A. Dunham Company in Marshalltown, Iowa, from 1925 to 1930. He was the Technical Advisor of Dunham-Bush, Inc. from 1930 to 1971. He served as the past president of the Michigan City Redevelopment.
Mr. Crosthwait was responsible for designing the heating system for Radio City Music Hall at Rockefeller Center in New York City. Mr. Crosthwait was the author of a manual on heating and cooling with water and guides, standards, and codes that dealt with heating, ventilation, refrigeration, and air conditioning systems. David Crosthwait received 39 patents relating to the design, installing, testing, and service of HVAC power plants, heating, and ventilating systems. After retiring from industry in 1969, Mr. Crosthwait taught a course on steam heating theory and control systems at Purdue University.