The invention of the first reliable and economical multi-zone temperature control system in 1895 by Johnson Controls founder Warren S. Johnson led to massive growth at the company and helped launch the modern building controls industry. 

At an event celebrating more than a century of ingenuity and innovation, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) announced its designation of the Johnson Controls, Inc. automatic temperature control system as a Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark. The invention of the first reliable and economical multi-zone temperature control system in 1895 by Johnson Controls founder Warren S. Johnson led to massive growth at the company and helped launch the modern building controls industry. 

S. Allan Johnson, great-grandson of the inventor, attended the event, along with more than 200 Johnson Controls employees, retirees and customers. 

“ASME is pleased to honor an invention that changed the world in the late 1800s and which still helps companies and organizations keep their buildings comfortable and energy-efficient more than 100 years later,” said J. Lawrence Lee, Ph.D., P.E., chair of the ASME History & Heritage Committee.

The May 28 event featured the unveiling of a bronze landmark plaque that is being mounted on the Johnson Controls building efficiency headquarters, the Brengel Technology Center at 507 E. Michigan St., Milwaukee. The facility, one of the first LEED®-certified in the world, now also includes a showcase of actual components from an 1895-era Johnson Controls system.

The ASME historic landmark designation is the eighth in Wisconsin and one of about 250 landmarks recognized worldwide. Other ASME Wisconsin landmarks include Milwaukee’s East Wells Street Power Plant (1918) next to the Milwaukee Repertory Theater; the Port Washington Power Plant (1935), the world's most thermally efficient steam plant for many years; the Appleton Vulcan Street Power Plant (1882), the first Edison hydroelectric central station; and the Evinrude Outboard Motor (1909), also developed in Milwaukee.

For more information on ASME, visit www.asme.org, and for more information on Johnson Controls, visit www.johnsoncontrols.com/.