What is the history of Trane?
For more than a century the Trane name has identified products and technology that stretched the world's idea of what was possible – a tradition that's still very much with us.
How long has Trane been in business?
Founded in La Crosse, Wisconsin in 1885, and finally incorporated in 1913, Trane has over 120 years of experience in the business.
In many ways, the Trane story is a classic American success story that grew into a global one. It began with our founder, James Trane, a Norwegian immigrant who opened his own plumbing shop in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in 1885. With the inspiration of cold Wisconsin winters, James Trane invented a new low-pressure heating system he proudly called the Trane Vapor Heating System. His son, Reuben, was just back from college with a degree in mechanical engineering, so father and son began manufacturing operations in 1910 and incorporated as The Trane Company in 1913. It was Reuben’s invention of the convector radiator in 1923 that firmly established the company’s reputation as an innovator, a reputation Trane people have been building on ever since.
Over the years, we’ve had some highlights:
- The idea of using technology to give people relief from summer heat was a radical and unproven idea when Trane became an air conditioning pioneer in 1931.
- Trane fundamentally changed the concept of air conditioning large buildings with the 1938 launch of Turbovac, the industry’s first hermetic, centrifugal refrigeration machine. This was the beginning of a long chain of innovations leading to Trane’s current CenTraVac®, the industry standard for large commercial air conditioning systems. This is the most energy efficient system available anywhere for large buildings and it has earned Trane the "Best of the Best" Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- With the acquisition of Sentinel Electronics in the late 1970s, Trane moved into the important building automation and management field. The company was the first to offer integrated controls for all its products and became a leader in the still new field of energy management, a leadership position that continues to expand.
- Our days as a leader in residential air conditioning began in 1982. That’s when we took advantage of an opportunity to acquire General Electric’s Central Air Conditioning Division.
- In 1984 Trane was acquired by American Standard Companies and remained the largest of its three businesses: Air Conditioning Systems and Services, Vehicle Control Systems (WABCO) and Bath and Kitchen.
- On June 5, 2008, global diversified industrial company Ingersoll Rand acquired Trane, furthering its transformation into a multi-brand commercial products manufacturer serving customers in diverse global markets, and away from the capital-intense, heavy-machinery profile of its past. With Trane now part of the family, Ingersoll Rand is better able to provide products, services and solutions to enhance the quality and comfort in homes and buildings, and enable companies and their customers to create progress. Other well-known brands that are part of the Ingersoll Rand family include Schlage, Thermo-King, Club Car, Hussmann and Ingersoll Rand.
New chapters in Trane’s history of growth through innovation are being written every working day. Now as part of Ingersoll Rand, our momentum continues to build because—as our people have said for years—"It’s hard to stop a Trane."