Johnson Controls' founder Warren S. Johnson's birth
Nov. 6, 1847
On November 6, 1847, Warren Seymour Johnson, the founder of Johnson Controls, was born to Charles and Emeline Johnson in Leicester, Vermont. Two years later, the family boarded a sailing vessel in Buffalo, New York, bound for Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The family settled first in Waukesha and, later, to homesteads in central and northern Wisconsin. By some accounts, Johnson had a harsh childhood, marked by the death of his mother in 1855. He received little formal schooling, but acquired a self-taught education from books, observation, and experimentation. In a precursor to his later career as an inventor, Johnson kept a book in which he sketched and described a number of inventions in the fields of chemistry, electricity, and mechanics. As a young man, Johnson worked on his father's farm and in the lumber mills of northern Wisconsin. He also learned the printer's trade and, at the age of 17, secured the position of foreman in the office of the Lean Wolf, a Durand, Wisconsin, newspaper. In the next 10 years of his life, Johnson worked as a surveyor and school teacher. Eventually, he became the Superintendent of Schools for New Lisbon, Wisconsin in 1874. In 1877, Johnson took a position as a professor of mathematics, sciences and drawing at the State Normal School in Whitewater, Wisconsin. During his teaching tenure there, he came up with his idea for regulating temperature in buildings through the use of thermostats - an idea upon which he founded this company in 1885.
4 / 12