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A Legacy of Innovation: Trane Celebrates a Century of Service

January 1, 2013

TYLER, Texas, Jan. 1, 2013 – After 100 years of reliability, innovation and countless technological and engineering firsts, history has made one thing abundantly clear: It’s Hard to Stop a Trane. Today Trane marks the beginning of a yearlong celebration honoring a century of exceptional service, premium quality and unrivaled reliability, even as it continues to stretch the world‘s idea of what‘s possible for the future.

"Since the beginning, Trane has been obsessed with building heating and air conditioning systems. Today that passion lives on, making us the most recognized brand in the industry for equipment durability and reliability.1 Now, as we reach our 100-year mark, we‘re proud to continue that legacy of innovation every day, in everything we do. There‘s still excitement in the air," said Jim VerShaw, chief engineer, Trane.


In many ways Trane is a classic American success story that grew the company into a global icon. In 1885, founder James Trane opened a plumbing shop in La Crosse, Wis. Inspired by the area‘s cold winters, he invented the Trane Vapor Heating System. His son Reuben, born in 1886, shared his father‘s inventiveness and grew up to be an engineer. Together, the two began manufacturing operations and incorporated The Trane Company in 1913.

Now, a century later, Trane is among the most preferred HVAC brands on the market. According to a 2012 priority research survey, Trane touts the highest satisfaction among homeowners of any HVAC brand on the market, as well as the most reliable, longest-lasting and highest quality equipment on the market.1

Throughout 2013, the company is celebrating its success with a variety of activities recognizing customers, dealers, distributors, employees and others. Among the first initiatives is a commemoration of James Trane‘s birthday with the ringing of the New York Stock Exchange closing bell on April 29, 2013. Other activities will include a company-wide anniversary scavenger hunt; anniversary celebrations in dealer locations; distributor recognition; plus several charitable initiatives including donations to regional community projects where Trane has locations; support for nonprofit home-building organizations; and scholarships to engineering and business students to seed the next generation of innovators. Watch trane.com for updates.



1923 – Reuben‘s invention of a convector radiator firmly establishes the company‘s reputation as an innovator. Using a coil through which steam or hot water is circulated, it is a lightweight, efficient replacement for the heavy cast iron radiators of the time.

1926 – Trane establishes what is known today as the Trane Graduate Engineering Training Program. In the program, engineering graduates from prominent colleges and universities are recruited to receive intensive training in sales, engineering, HVAC systems design and application. After completing six months, the graduates advance to sales or management assignments within the company.


1931 – Trane‘s idea of using technology to give people relief from the summer heat is a radical and unproven idea that leads to what we know today as air conditioning. The first units are designed for offices, restaurants, ships, department stores, factories and movie theaters.

1938 – Trane fundamentally changes the concept of air conditioning large buildings with the launch of Turvovac, the industry‘s first hermetic centrifugal refrigeration machine. It begins a long chain of innovations leading to the CenTraVac, the industry standard for large commercial air conditioning systems.


1940s – During World War II (WWII), Trane uses its proven technologies in heating, process cooling and air conditioning to create products for the armed forces. One product, the Aircraft Intercooler, is a major breakthrough in the War effort, permitting Allied warplanes to fly higher and faster than before.


1950s – Taking advantage of the post-war construction boom, Trane expands its air conditioning and fan lines, and begins to manufacture its own reciprocating compressors, solidifying its position as an industry leader. Trane offers a complete line of HVAC products for commercial, institutional and industrial buildings.

Mid-1950s – Trane ventures into self-contained air conditioning units for commercial use. The compact packaged products are delivered to customers ready for installation and operation, lowering their installation costs and shortening construction schedules.


1960s – Trane‘s innovation continues with new heat pump technology and the launch of the first Weathertron® Heat Pump.


1971 – Trane‘s innovations reach outer space when the basic heat exchanger design of its WWII Aircraft Intercooler is used on the Lunar Rover of the Apollo 15 mission.

Late 1970s – With the acquisition of Sentinel Electronics, Trane moves into the building automation and management field. The first to offer integrated controls for all its products, the company becomes a leader in the still-new field of energy management.


1982 – Trane becomes a leader in residential air conditioning, acquiring General Electric's Central Air Conditioning Division.

1984 – Trane is acquired by American Standard Companies and remains the largest of its three businesses: Air Conditioning Systems and Services, Vehicle Control Systems (WABCO) and Bath and Kitchen.

1988 – Trane relaunches the American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning brand, introducing a new generation of families to the century-old American Standard tradition of making quality products for the home.


1992 – Trane introduces its new iconic tagline It’s Hard to Stop a Trane, reinforcing the brand‘s reliability and durability.


2002 – Trane creates the WeatherGuard II™ Top for its residential outdoor air conditioning units. The distinctive design provides an additional layer of safety to protect family members from moving parts, while also protecting inside components from damage. The design also makes Trane air conditioning units instantly recognizable everywhere.

2006 – Trane achieves a true technological breakthrough with the launch of Trane CleanEffectsTM, a whole-house air filtration system that removes up to 99.98 percent of airborne particles and 99 percent of common flu viruses from the conditioned air, helping families breathe easier in their homes.

2007 – American Standard Companies splits its three businesses, leaving each free to concentrate exclusively on the markets it knows best. WABCO is spun off as an independent corporation and Bath and Kitchen is sold. Trane becomes its own company, reflecting its business focus and leadership in integrated HVAC services and solutions.

2008 – Global diversified industrial company Ingersoll Rand acquires Trane, furthering its transformation into a multi-brand commercial products manufacturer designed to serve customers in diverse global markets. 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.

2011 – Launch of the Trane ComfortLinkTM II Control brings Trane into home automation. More than a thermostat, the advanced control center puts comfort literally at homeowners‘ fingertips, enabling them to monitor indoor/outdoor temperatures, adjust their HVAC system for energy efficiency, and learn when it‘s time to change a filter or schedule routine maintenance. Popular Mechanics dubs it one of ?The Year‘s Most Transformative Products

2012 – Trane takes home automation to the next level by partnering with Schlage® to offer Nexia™ Home Intelligence, leveraging the advanced technologies of both brands to make everything in the home speak one simple language. Nexia enables consumers to remotely manage door locks, heating and cooling, video surveillance, lights, shades and energy usage via any Web-enabled computer and most smart phones.

2013 – Reuben Trane‘s original idea of using technology to give people relief from the summer heat comes full circle, growing the company into a multifaceted business that helps make lives easier, more comfortable and efficient for homeowners and businesses around the world. Trane marks its 100th anniversary with a yearlong celebration honoring its legacy of innovation while continuing to innovate new and exciting products.

"As we look to the future, new chapters of growth through innovation are being written every working day. Our momentum continues to build because — as our people have said for years -'It's Hard to Stop a Trane,'" said VerShaw.


Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR) advances the quality of life by creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments. Our people and our family of brands—including Club Car®Ingersoll Rand®Schlage®,
Thermo King® and Trane®—work together to enhance the quality and comfort of air in homes and buildings; transport and protect food and perishables; secure homes and commercial properties; and increase industrial productivity and efficiency. We are a $14 billion global business committed to a world of sustainable progress and enduring results. For more information, visit www.ingersollrand.com


1 Independent 2012 HVAC Claim Study, funded by Ingersoll Rand

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