Warren Johnson

The Entrepreneur

Warren Johnson was the quintessential inventor and entrepreneur. He created huge pneumatic tower clocks. He experimented with electric storage batteries and started a wireless telegraph business. He developed steam-powered vehicles, from luxury touring cars to the first postal service trucks. 

It is Johnson’s system of temperature regulation, invented while he was a college professor in Whitewater, Wisconsin, that is his legacy. Johnson installed his electric tele-thermoscope in classrooms to keep students more comfortable—and end hourly interruptions from the janitor checking the rooms’ temperature. 

Of the more than 50 patents Johnson received, most were devices aimed at harnessing the sustainable power derived from air, steam or fluid pressure. Warren Johnson was focused on innovation, committed to continuous improvements in quality, service and productivity, and dedicated to delivering on promises to customers—the same principles that have guided Johnson Controls through its first 125 years.