5 More HVAC Giants: Ken’s TOP 5 Information Pivot Points of Week 48

OX 5 joseph-watts1. Watts Water Technologies: In 1857, at the age of 17, Joseph E. Watts emigrated to Lawrence, Mass., from Cheshire, England seeking his fortune as a machinist. Just 17 years later Watts set up an independent machine shop, known as the Watts Regulator Company, to supply machinery parts and fittings to the local textile mills. In addition to his success at running his own business, Joseph Watts was extremely inventive—and he soon achieved widespread fame in the manufacturing world as the patentee and maker of steam and water pressure regulators. During the early years, the company manufactured pressure-reducing valves to regulate the steam and relief devices designed to ensure safe operation of water heaters and boilers. Source: History of Watts Water

2. Barber–Colman Company: Historically one of Rockford’s largest manufacturers. Began with the founding of the Barber & Colman Company in 1894 – partnership between Howard Colman, an inventor and entrepreneur, and W. A. Barber, an investor. [Today he would probably be considered a venture capitalist.] Colman’s first patent and marketable invention was the Creamery Check Pump used to separate buttermilk and dispense skimmed milk. Colman’s textile production inventions led the company on its rapid rise as a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of diversified products. BARBER-COLMAN became involved in the electrical and electronics industry in 1924 with the founding of the Electrical Division. First product was a radio operated electric garage door opener controlled from the dashboard of a car. Unfortunately, it was too expensive to be practical at the time. In the late 1920s, the Experimental Department began conducting experiments with temperature control instruments to be used in homes and other buildings and the Temperature Control Division was born. Over time, BARBER-COLMAN became known worldwide leader in electronic controls for heating, ventilating and air conditioning. These are the products that continue its name and reputation today. Source: History of the Barber-Colman Company – the City of Rockford

Danfoss3. Danfoss: Danfoss founder Mads Clausen was born in 1905 in Havnbjerg, Denmark, at the farm which now houses the Danfoss Museum. In 1933, after graduating in engineering, Mads Clausen returned to his birthplace. The crisis of the 1930’s had left customs barriers and import bans and he saw the opportunity for producing and selling automatic valves for refrigeration plants – production which until then took place in the United States. So he set up a company in his parents’ attic.In 1933 Mads Clausen establishes the company, Dansk Køleautomatik- og Apparat-Fabrik.The first ARV and TRV valves were soon supplemented with automatic AV and AVS valves. Between 1935 and 1938, a long list of new products were introduced – automatic spring valves, ball float valves, thermostats, pressure-controlled valves, diaphragm valves, suction valves, room thermostats, constant-pressure valves and drying filters. Source: Danfoss Group Global – Facts and History

Taco4. Company founded (1920) in Elizabeth, NJ, when Elwood White (grandfather of the current President John Hazen White Jr.) purchased the Thermal Appliance Company (T.A. Co.). Water heater inventor Robert Lincoln Blanding then joins Taco, beginning company’s tradition of product innovation. Taco, Inc., headquartered in Cranston, RI, develops and manufactures hydronic-based components for use in heating and cooling applications across the building spectrum–residential, commercial, industrial and institutional. Its wide range of hydronic and radiant systems and components include pumps, heat exchangers, expansion tanks, flow measurement devices, air separators and valves, and zone control products. It is also one of the best-known brands in the hydronic industry, long associated with continual product innovation and development. Source: Taco History

Lennox5. Among the pioneers of modern home comfort, no one stands taller than Dave Lennox. Working from his machine shop in Iowa, he single-handedly elevated the American standard of living by building the first Lennox® furnaces. Lennox is built on a legacy of innovative firsts, from the introduction of the riveted-steel furnace in 1895 to some of the most efficient air conditioners available today. Over the years, Lennox has set the standard for home comfort, and we continue to push the standard forward with a lineup of more than 60 leading-edge products and a network of more than 6,000 full-service dealers. Source: Lennox Heritage of Quality

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