Honeywell's story stretches back more than 125 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 from the start:
Our vision for a secure, comfortable, more efficient future...
Our steadfast belief in the power of innovation ...
And our relentless insistence on continuous improvement.
From our genesis in 1885 to today, these are the principles that led us to the advancements and innovations of the past century and a quarter ... And they'll continue to inspire and guide us as we create new solutions for the challenges of tomorrow.
In 2002, David M. Cote was named Chairman and CEO of Honeywell. Under his leadership the company focuses on five initiatives: Growth, Productivity, Cash, People and the company's Enablers - Honeywell Operating System, Velocity Product Development™ and Functional Transformation.
Under Cote's leadership, Honeywell has delivered strong performance in sales growth, earnings per share, segment profit and cash flow. Today, the company has great positions in good industries globally, with approximately 50% of its products and solutions providing energy efficiency benefits.
More than 125 Years of Innovation
Honeywell's roots reach 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 an ingenious device he called the "damper flapper” – an ingenious predecessor to the modern thermostat.
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 systems.
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 Underwriters Laboratories.
Meanwhile, in Wabash, Indiana...
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.
Products, Developments and Acquisitions
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 thermostat.
In 1954, the 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 industry.
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 activators.
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 system.
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 chemical companies.
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 in 1981 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.
Throughout the 1990s, CEO Lawrence A. Bossidy led process of continued growth and efficiency that quintupled the market value of AlliedSignal shares and significantly outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500.