JCI founder recognized in US National Inventors Hall of Fame

Warren Johnson, the inventor who founded what has become the world’s largest battery-manufacturing company, Johnson Controls, has been inducted into the US National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Johnson was posthumously added to the Hall as a member of the ‘Class of 2018’ for his invention of the temperature control.

A statement from the Hall of Fame, which was set up in 1973, said it honoured individuals every year “whose creativity, ingenuity and ability to overcome obstacles have transformed our world”.

It said Johnson’s thermostat and multi-room temperature control system are now commonplace for heating and cooling buildings of all types and sizes.

In 1883, Warren Johnson received a patent for his electric tele-thermoscope.

Two years later he joined Milwaukee businessman and financier William Plankinton and formed the Johnson Electric Service Company, which made electrical equipment for all kinds of applications, but focused on temperature controls in buildings.

Johnson was elected president in 1901, and remained at the helm until his death in 1911 at the age of 64.

He is attributed with more than 50 inventions, and in 1907 the firm introduced a line of gasoline cars – perhaps a precursor to the automotive batteries in which it was later to become world leader.

Other inductees in the hall of fame this year include Marvin Caruthers, for his chemical synthesis of DNA.