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In 1885, long before anyone talks about carbon footprints or climate change, Warren Johnson launches a company to explore new ways to harness and conserve precious energy resources. In doing so, he also launches a tradition of customer-focused innovation—a tradition that has inspired thousands of employees for more than 130 years and that continues to drive the success of Johnson Controls. Even before he founds the firm now known as Johnson Controls, Warren Johnson is the quintessential inventor. His pneumatic tower clocks, electric storage batteries, wireless telegraph business and steam-powered luxury cars and postal service trucks anticipate—and shape—the future.

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Alex Molinaroli is chairman and chief executive officer of Johnson Controls.
This Month in History

Johnson Controls keeps Circus Train running cool, July 13, 1986

One of the passenger cars from the Circus World Museum Train on display at the Museum grounds in Baraboo, Wis.On July 13, 1986, the Great Circus Parade was held in downtown Milwaukee. Before the parade could be staged, however, the wagons, equipment, and animals had to be transported to Milwaukee from their permanent home at the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wis., via the Circus World Museum Train.

The train was made up of a collection of 31 vintage railroad cars used in the past by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to transport their circus across the country. Five of the train's cars were Pullman passenger cars each with a "Pullman Air Conditioning System." To make sure the passengers were comfortable on their 120-mile trip to Milwaukee, technicians from Johnson Controls' Madison branch were enlisted to check and service the system.

The train's trip to Milwaukee for the parade was an event in itself as onlookers lined the tracks all along the route. The parade was first held in Milwaukee in 1963 and has been held there 30 times since – the last time being in 2009. The Circus World Museum, a National Historic Landmark site, opened to the public in 1959 on land where the Ringling Brothers founded their circus in 1884. Spread out over 30 buildings on 64 acres, the museum has one of the largest collections of circus artifacts in the world, including over 210 original wagons and vehicles used in the parade.