History of Honeywell
Histories of Honeywell
did it come from? Compiled by Wally
1885 Albert M. Butz filed an application with the
U.S. Patent Office for his Temperature Control
“Damper Flapper” and formed The Butz
Thermo-Electric Regulator Co.
1888 Consolidated Temperature Controlling Co.,
Inc. of Minneapolis, MN acquired the patent and
1888 James Skinner started Skinner Chuck Co. in
New Brighton, CT – the forerunner of Skinner Valve
1891 W. R. Sweatt formed the Sweatt Mfg. Co. in
Minneapolis, MN to build wheelbarrows.
1892 Consolidated Temperature Controlling Co.,
Inc. was renamed as the Electric Thermostat Co.
1893 Electric Thermostat Co. was reorganized as
the Electric Heat Regulator Co.
1898 W. R. Sweatt committed to a contract to
purchase the Electric Heat Regulator Co. for 12.5
cents on the dollar ($5,000) from future earnings.
1901 W. R. Sweatt sold the wheelbarrow business.
1902 W. R. Sweatt completed the buyout of the
Electric Heat Regulator Co. and now owned all 400
shares of the company located in Minneapolis, MN .
1906 Mark C. Honeywell started the Honeywell
Heating Specialty Co. in Wabash, IN to manufacture
hot water Heating Systems for homes. This was the
first use of the name Honeywell as a company.
1910 Richard Brown incorporated Brown Instrument
Co. in Philadelphia, PA.
1910 Elmer Sperry formed the Sperry Gyroscope Co.
in Brooklyn, NY .
1912 Elmer and his son, Lawrence Sperry,
developed an automatic pilot – “airplane
1913 Electric Heat Regulator Co. changed its name
to Minneapolis Heat Regulator Co.
1927 Minneapolis Heat Regulator Co. merged with
Honeywell Heating Specialists and becomes
Minneapolis-Honeywell Heat Regulator Co.
1929 James H. Doolittle flies first blind flight,
from takeoff to landing, using a Sperry Gyro
Horizon and Directional Gyro.
1932 Depression forced wage reductions and
Minneapolis-Honeywell Heat Regulator Co made flour
sifters for the Pillsbury Co. to keep employees
1933 Another wage reduction: 15% for officers and
10% for employees of Minneapolis-Honeywell Heat
1934 Micro Switch Co. formed in Freeport, IL to
manufacture the “simplest form of control system”,
1934 Honeywell acquired Brown Instrument Co. of
1934 Heiland Research Corp. formed in Denver, CO
– later becomes part of Honeywell.
1941 Minneapolis Honeywell developed the C1
Autopilot that proved to be critically important
for the U.S. war effort.
1946 Minneapolis Honeywell Aero Division was
1950 Honeywell purchased Micro Switch of
1953 Production of the Honeywell T86 Round
Thermostat was started, which is what most people
think of when you say “Honeywell”.
1954 Honeywell purchased Heiland Research Corp.
which becomes Test Instruments and Photo Division
in Denver , CO .
1954 Honeywell Research developed a germanium
power transistor and the Transistor Division is
formed in Minneapolis, MN. An early start in solid
state electronics which failed to blossom.
1955 A joint venture with Raytheon was formed
called Datamatic Corp. and was Honeywell's entry
into the computer business. The company's first
computer system, the D-1000, weighed 25 tons, took
up 6,000 square feet and cost $1.5 million.
1956 Sperry's Aeronautical Division moved to
Phoenix, AZ and became Sperry Phoenix Co.
1957 Sperry Phoenix moved into the 19th Ave. and
Deer Valley facility in Phoenix, AZ.
1960 Raytheon's share of the business was bought
out and the EDP Division of Honeywell was formed.
1964 The company name was shortened from
Minneapolis-Honeywell Heat Regulator Co. to
1965 Development and production of the Apollo
Control System began at Honeywell Aero Division.
1966 Sperry Phoenix became Sperry Flight Systems.
1967 Honeywell sales exceeded $1 billion.
1969 Honeywell became the first supplier of
digital avionics to commercial airliners with the
Flight Computer for the McDonnell Douglas DC-10.
1970 Honeywell bought General Electric's computer
business to form Honeywell Information Systems
1974 Honeywell purchased the Process Control
Computer business from GE which later became the
current Process Solutions Division of Honeywell
located in Phoenix , AZ.
1980 Sperry Flight Systems reorganized forming
the Commercial Division, Defense Division and
Space Systems Division.
1981 Sperry's Business and Commuter Systems
Division was formed and located at 53 rd Ave. and
Bell Road in Glendale, AZ.
1986 Honeywell acquired Sperry Aerospace Group
for $1,029 billion and combined part of the
Honeywell Commercial Division with the Sperry
Commercial Flight Systems operations in Phoenix,
1991 Honeywell Information Systems sold to Bull.
Honeywell was no longer in the information
processing computer business.
1999 Honeywell merged into Allied Signal and the
name was changed to Honeywell International.
2000/2001 GE's attempted purchase of Honeywell
International was blocked by the European
2006 So here we are today – not really Honeywell
anymore except in name.
Histories of Honeywell from:
Retired Employees' Association Northeast
Metropolitan Region (Very
history from 2002 onwards)
Universe (Includes bibliography
Sperry Gyroscope Company from the Aero
in Phoenix (For HIS, LISD,
etc.—includes a timeline and names of employees.)
to Honeywell Austria's history of Honeywell no
longer works and Honeywell Austria did not reply
to any inquiries about it. Here is an
archived version from August 2014.)
The following is the last history of
Honeywell provided on the Honeywell.com website
before it was unaccountably removed on 15 May
2019. It is copied from the Internet Archive at: http://web.archive.org/web/20190514065219/https://www.honeywell.com/who-we-are/our-history
(This link may take about 30 seconds to open.)
story stretches back more than 130 years and
encompasses several predecessor companies
and the inspiring work of tens of thousands
of people. But our core mission and values
have been consistent:
A vision for a secure, comfortable, cleaner,
more efficient future...
A steadfast belief in the power of
And a relentless drive for continuous
And they continue to inspire and guide us as
we create new solutions for the challenges
More than 130 Years of
Our roots reach back to
1885, when an inventor named Albert Butz
patented the furnace regulator and alarm. He
formed the Butz Thermo-Electric Regulator Co.,
Minneapolis, in April 1886, and soon invented
a device he called the "damper flapper” – an
ingenious predecessor to the modern
Here's how it worked. When a room cooled below
a predetermined temperature, a thermostat
closed the circuit and energized an armature.
This pulled the stop from the motor gears,
allowing a crank attached to the main motor
shaft to turn one-half revolution. A chain
connected to the crank opened the furnace's
air damper to let in air. This made the fire
burn hotter. When the temperature rose to the
preset level, the thermostat signaled the
motor to turn another half revolution, closing
the damper and damping the fire. The
temperature correction was automatic. Over the
years, many Honeywell products have been based
upon similar, but more complicated closed-loop
The Consolidated Temperature Controlling Co.
acquired Butz's patents and business, and by
1893, had renamed itself Electric Heat
Regulator Co. In 1898, the company was
purchased by W. R. Sweatt, who, by 1916, named
the company Minneapolis Heat Regulator
Company, expanded its product line and
patented the first electric motor approved by
Meanwhile, in Wabash,
In 1904, a young engineer named Mark Honeywell
– from whom our name originated – was
perfecting the heat generator as part of his
plumbing and heating business. Two years
later, he formed the Honeywell Heating
Specialty Co. Incorporated, specializing in
hot water heat generators.
The 1927 Merger
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. W. R. Sweatt
became Chairman and Mark Honeywell became
President. The company quickly grew as it
began to tackle more challenges, including
industrial controls and indicators.
Business Around the World
The company has been selling its products
throughout the world for a long time. In 1934,
the company acquired Time-O-Stat Controls
Corporation and began establishing a track
record of global expansion. We established
offices in Toronto, the Netherlands, London
and Stockholm. By 1941, The company had
distributors in Chile, Panama, Trinidad, New
Zealand, Argentina, and South Africa. By 1972,
we 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, the
company had operations in 95 countries.
Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Co. leveraged
its scientific and engineering talent to adapt
to changing times. We radically improved mass
production and added an array of aeronautical
equipment to our portfolio. In 1942, we
invented the electronic autopilot, which
proved vital to the U.S. war effort.
In 1953, the company introduced the iconic
T-86 "Round" thermostat, which replaced
chunky, rectangular models. One of the world's
most recognizable designs, it remains in
production today and is used in more
households around the world than any other
In 1954, we began working to make gyroscopes
more sensitive and precise while reducing
their size and weight – and continued
improving them over the next two decades.
In 1955, we established a partnership with
Raytheon Corp., marking Honeywell's entry into
the computer business.
In 1957, we began working on fire
detection and alarm systems. In many North
American cities, the red and black "Protected
by Honeywell" window stickers and placards
were nearly as recognizable as the “Round”
thermostat. Today we are the global leader in
The company's name was officially changed to
Honeywell Inc. in 1963.
Six years later, Honeywell instruments helped
U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin
"Buzz" Aldrin land on the moon.
In 1970, Honeywell merged its computer
business with General Electric's to form
Honeywell Information Systems. In 1986, the
personal computer emerged and the company
formed Honeywell Bull, a global joint venture
with Compagnie des Machines Bull of France and
NEC Corporation of Japan. Its ownership level
was gradually decreased until, in 1991,
Honeywell was no longer in the computer
business. The company's digital computer
knowledge lives on today in the field of
automation control, integrating sensors, and
In 1986, Honeywell took a bold step to
increase its investment in aerospace
innovation with the purchase of Sperry
Aerospace, making us the world's leading
integrator of avionics systems. Sperry
contributed flight controls, space vehicles,
and the first FAA-certified wind shear warning
The AlliedSignal Connection
During World War I, Germany controlled
much of the world's chemical industry, causing
shortages among the U.S. and our allies of
critical drugs and dyes. In 1920, publisher
Eugene Meyer and scientist William Nichols
formed the Allied Chemical & Dye
Corporation as a partnership of five American
In 1928, Allied opened a synthetic ammonia
plant and quickly became the world's leading
producer of ammonia .
After World War II, Allied began manufacturing
other new products, including nylon 6 (used in
manufacturing everything from tires to
clothes) and refrigerants.
In 1962, Allied bought Union Texas Natural
Gas, which owned oil and gas properties
throughout the Americas. Allied focused on it
mainly as a supplier of raw materials for its
chemical products, but this changed in the
early 1970s when CEO John Connor (secretary of
commerce under Lyndon Johnson) began investing
in oil and gas exploration. By 1979, when
Edward Hennessy Jr. became CEO, Union Texas
produced 80% of Allied's income.
Now Allied Corp., the company went on to
purchase the Bendix Corp., an aerospace and
automotive company, in 1983. By 1984, Bendix
generated 50% of Allied's income, while oil
and gas generated 38%.
In 1985, Allied merged with the Signal
Companies, adding critical mass to its
aerospace, automotive and engineered materials
businesses. Signal was originally a California
company that produced gasoline from natural
gas and entered oil production in 1928.
Aerospace was now Allied-Signal's
largest sector. In mid-1991, with new
leadership in many key businesses,
Allied-Signal began taking bold actions to
become more efficient, increase productivity,
and position the company as a global
competitive force. The Allied-Signal name was
changed to AlliedSignal in 1993 to reinforce a
one-company image and signify the full
integration of all of its businesses.
In 1992, the company sold its remaining
interest in Union Texas through a public
offering for $940 million in net proceeds.
Honeywell was acquired by AlliedSignal, who
elected to retain the Honeywell name for its
brand recognition and the company's
headquarters was moved to the AlliedSignal
headquarters in Morristown, NJ. Together the
companies share huge business interests in
aerospace, chemical products, automotive
parts, and building controls.
2000, Honeywell acquired Pittway to gain a greater share of the
fire-protection and security systems
In 2002, David M. Cote was named
Chairman and CEO of Honeywell. Under Cote's
leadership, Honeywell transformed from a
company with three competing cultures from
AlliedSignal, Pittway and the legacy Honeywell
to “One Honeywell,” a recognized global
industrial leader that is making strategic
investment in products, processes, people and
Furthermore, the company had a strong record
of financial performance, consistently meeting
targets, outperforming peers and delivering a
total shareowner return of 400 percent. We
also made more than 80 acquisitions and 60
divestitures during this time.
In 2018, Darius Adamczyk
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Before
then, he was President and Chief Executive
Officer after serving for a year as Chief
Operating Officer and holding a variety of
positions since joining in 2008.
His focus is on accelerating
Honeywell’s organic growth, expanding margins,
transforming the Company into a premier
software-industrial company, deploying capital
effectively, and building a high-performance
In 2018, Honeywell completed spinoffs of its
transportation business into Garrett Motion
Inc and homes business into Resideo, which
uses Honeywell Home under a long-term,
Honeywell is headquartered in Morris Plains,
NJ with operations at about 970 sites in 70
countries. With more than 110,000 employees
worldwide, including 18,000 engineers and
9,000 software developers, we build on our
substantial legacy with a focus on growth,
innovation, improved customer experience and