Honeywell can trace its roots back to 1885, when an inventor named Albert Butz patented the furnace regulator and alarm. He formed the Butz Thermo-Electric Regulator Co., Minneapolis on April 23rd 1886, and a few weeks later invented a simple, yet ingenious device that he called the “damper flapper” – a thermostat. In 1904 a young engineer named Mark Honeywell, was perfecting the heat generator as part of his plumbing and heating business. Two years later, he formed the Honeywell Heating Specialty Co. specializing in hot water heat generators.
In 1906 Honeywell unveiled the first programmable thermostat known as the “Jewell” featuring a built in clock that allowed users to turn down their heat at night and automatically have it adjust to a proscribed setting in the morning. An electric clock was added in the 1930’s and the capacity to adjust both the heating and cooling materialized in models developed in the 1960’s. By 1912, EHR had expanded its product line and changed its name to Minneapolis Heat Regulator Company (MHR). Four years later, MHR patented the first electric motor approved by Underwriters Laboratories.
In 1927 Minneapolis Heat Regulator Company and Honeywell Heating Specialty Co. merged to form the Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Co., and became the largest producer of high-quality jeweled clocks. Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Co. had long been selling its products around the world through distributors like Yamatake Trading Company in Japan. In 1934, the company acquired Time-O-Stat Controls Corporation and began a long history of global expansion. The first office outside the U.S. was established in Toronto. Its first European subsidiary was established in the Netherlands the same year, and, within a few years, offices were opened in London and Stockholm. By 1941, it had distributors in Chile, Panama, Trinidad, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa. By 1972, it operated 25 wholly owned subsidiaries, 142 branch offices, and joint ventures in five countries outside the U.S. In 1993, the company opened affiliates in Abu Dhabi, China, Oman, Romania and the Ukraine. By 1998, Honeywell had operations in 95 countries through 83 wholly owned subsidiaries and 13 joint ventures., Canada.
The company’s name was officially changed to Honeywell Inc. in 1963 even though it had been casually referred to as such for nearly 40 years.